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Southern Psychiatric Association 2019 Annual Conference

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LOUISVILLE As MD-Update magazine’s mental wellness columnist, I relished the opportunity to hear firsthand the applied science shared by practicing clinicians from all over the southern region at the Southern Psychiatric Association’s annual conference at the Brown Hotel in Louisville on Aug 21–24.

It was gratifying to see how many thought leaders, influencers, and innovators are medical practitioners right here in Kentucky. Here’s what I mean:

How effective are currently available computer programs and mobile apps for treating depression and other mental disorders?

Jesse Wright, MD, PhD, an early adapter and developer of this treatment modality, presented evidence for the effectiveness of computer-assisted psychotherapy and identified opportunities and barriers for its use in clinical practice.

Antidepressants don’t work as well for adolescents. Besides only two FDA-approved medications, what are treatment options for adolescents?

Randy Schrodt, MD, reviewed the latest research on the safety and efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for depressed adolescents, as well as the clinical indications and expected outcomes for this population.

If you line up the symptoms of menopause and depression side-by-side, would you recognize the difference?

Louisville gynecologist Nancy J. Newman, MD, covered the intricacies of how the medical management of menopause interacts with the treatment of mood disorders in her presentation on “Menopause, Mood, and Management.”

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health condition.

Moving beyond SSRIs and benzodiazepines, Miriam Swope, MD, also described behavioral therapy options as simple as diet, exercise, and mood induction and as dramatic as rapid-acting ketamine for suicidal ideation and PTSD.

What lessons in psychiatry can we learn from history?

It turns out there are difficulties in applying modern criterion-based diagnostics to historical figures, as David Casey, MD, pointed out in his presentation “The Psychiatric Cases of the Lincolns.”

Kentucky have a shortage of psychiatrists and an access problem as well.

Mary Helen Davis, MD, understands the challenges of getting integrated care started and provided a framework for the role of physician leadership in developing a collaborative care team and the supervision of clinical care.

Since its inception in 1935, the SPA annual meeting covers a scientific program of cutting-edge lectures and this year was no different. “We cover a broad range of lectures from historical perspective to neuromodulation, from women’s issues to care delivery, and from ethics to the impact of climate change,” according to Mary Helen Davis, SPA president.