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ADAA’s 2019 Conference to Feature Sessions on Ketamine, the FDA-Approved Nasal Spray for Treatment Resistant Depression

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA, March 12, 2019 / -- More than 1,400 international researchers and clinicians specializing in anxiety, depression, and related disorders will convene in Chicago later this month for the 39th Annual Anxiety and Depression (ADAA) Conference.

The conference, which will be held from March 28 – 31 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, is being presented by ADAA, the leading international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, and related disorders through education, training, and research. This year’s conference theme is Cutting Edge Research to Optimize Treatment Success Transcending Cultural, Racial, and Socioeconomic Barriers.

Of particular significance this year is the Jerilyn Ross Lecture, a key component of the annual conference. This year’s Lecture, entitled Ketamine and Mind-Altering Drugs in Treating Anxiety and Depression: Potential Roles and Pitfalls, will bring together a group of experts with extensive experience in the clinical use of ketamine and psilocybin, their psychopharmacology, and potential substance abuse.

Ketamine is the new FDA approved nasal spray that is used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant for the treatment of depression in adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them.

The risk:benefit profile of these therapies, and their roles in clinical practice will be discussed, as well as the examination of the role of concurrent psychotherapies in prolonging their transient benefit. Ethical and medico-legal issues will also be explored.

The Ross Lecture’s panelists will include:

Adriana Feder, MD
Director, Trauma and Resilience Program
Associate Director for Research, WTC Mental Health Program
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Roland Griffiths, PhD
Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and
Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Alan Schatzberg, MD
Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine

Carlos A. Zarate, MD
Chief of the Experimental & Therapeutics Branch and of the Section on Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health

The Lecture will be moderated by:
Sanjay Mathew, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine

“Ketamine represents a major step forward in the treatment of depression and suicide prevention. ADAA recognizes that clinicians want to offer their patients evidence-based options which have passed through the numerous stages of FDA testing, and this marks the first FDA approval of a ketamine product for a psychiatric indication. This is also the first antidepressant with a novel mechanism of action that we have had in decades,” said Dr. Beth Salcedo, ADAA Board President. “The development of the intranasal esketamine formulation with an intermittent dosing strategy offers a new approach to the treatment of refractory depression that could also impact greatly the care of patients with suicidal activity.”

Suicide prevention will be the focus of ADAA’s first ever half day program held on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The program will include the sharing of cutting-edge research and clinical initiatives aimed to improve the understanding of why people die by suicide. The program will cover what can be done to begin reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Leaders from the scientific, clinical, and advocacy sectors will discuss neuroscience, genomics, digital health, big data, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments, and key funding priorities.

Alan Schatzberg, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will deliver the keynote address. In his presentation, Potential Drugs of Abuse as Antidepressants and Anxiolytics: Pluses and Minuses, Dr. Schatzberg will review recent data and discuss key issues regarding how to balance risk-benefit both for individual patients and society at-large.

Breaking the cultural, racial, and socioeconomic barriers to treatment and the inflammatory processes in stress, anxiety, and depression will also be a focus of this year’s conference. In addition, programming on mindfulness, trauma, mental health apps, alternative therapies, telemental health, veteran-focused therapy, new and novel pharmacotherapies, and culturally sensitive therapy for diverse communities will be offered.

For more details about special session offerings and registration information visit ADAA’s website.

Members of the media are invited to cover the conference and will have the opportunity to interview experts and attend all sessions. To register, email Lise Bram, ADAA’s Deputy Executive Director, at or call 240.485.1016. Registration is limited to credentialed journalists and journalists who have assignment letters on the letterhead of a media organization. All media personnel must be registered and wear their conference badges while attending any conference session or activity. The conference program is available online and printed programs will also be available on site. ADAA also offers a mobile app for the event. Selected papers will be available electronically upon request. Media can make hotel reservations online.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is an international nonprofit membership organization (with more than 1,800 professional mental health members) and a leader in education, training, and research for anxiety, depression and related disorders. More than 38 million people visit the ADAA website ( annually to find current treatment and research information and to access free resources and support.

Lise Bram
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
+1 240-485-1016
email us here

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