Harvard Department Of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School


Anxiety Disorders Program1Department of Psychiatry

Massachusetts General Hospital

Mark H. Pollack, M.D. (Program Director).,;Pollack, Mark H.,, Michael W. Otto, Ph.D..,;Otto, Michael W.,, Naomi Simon, M.D., John Worthington, M.D.Worthington, John,, Steven Safren, Ph.D., Carol Winnet, Ph.D., Robert Gould, Ph.D.Gould, Robert,, Gustavo Kinrys, M.D.Candilis, Philip,, Susan Penava, Ph.D.Penava, Susan,, Jordan Smoller, M.D.Smoller, Jordan,

The Anxiety Disorders Program seeks to examine the phenomenology and treatment of the anxiety disorders including panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder. Current areas of inquiry include examination of the longitudinal course and complications of panic disorder, including issues such as the effects of comorbidity and childhood psychopathology on outcome, acute and long-term response to treatment and correlates of relapse and remission. The program is also investigating the combined and comparative benefits of pharmacologic and cognitive-behavioral strategies for the treatment of refractory panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD and GAD, as well as the use of cognitve-behavioral therapy (CBT) to facilitate benzodiazepine discontinuation in panic disorder patients. We are adapting CBT and pharmacological strategies for the treatment of PTSD to the particular cultural needs of refugee populations. Other studies include application of neuroimaging techniques and neuropsychological testing to the investigation of anxiety and related disorders and a variety of studies evaluating the effectiveness of novel pharmacologic agents for the treatment of panic disorder, social phobia, PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder.

Key Words: anxiety disorders, panic, phobia, PTSD, pharmacotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Grant Support. Federal: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for benzodiazepine discontinuation in panic patients. (NIDA: R10-DA-09692); MR -Spectroscopic Imaging during Methadone Maintenance (NIDA: R01 DA 11231); National Institute of Mental Health K23 training award to N.S. for "Course and Treatment of Refractory Panic Disorder" (MH 01831-02). Other; Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of olanzapine for refractory generalized anxiety disorder (Eli Lilly); CBT and pharmacotherapy for treatment of refractory PTSD in Cambodian refugees (Pfizer); Citalopram for refractory social anxiety disorder (Forest); Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of venlafaxine-XR for post-traumatic stress disorder (Wyeth-Ayerst); Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of venlafaxine-XR for panic disorder (Wyeth-Ayerst); Treatment of refractory panic, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders with the atypical neuroleptic risperidone (Janssen); Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for refractory anxiety disorders (Cyberonics)

Project Sites. Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital; Department of Psychology, Harvard University; Southeast Asian Refugee Clinic, Revere Community Center; Imaging Center, McLean Hospital

Program Director. Mark H. Pollack, M.D., Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit ACC 815, Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, Boston, MA 02114. Mpollack@partners.org

Contact Person. Fany Toshkov, Research Coordinator, Tel.: (617) 724-0666. FAX: (617) 726-7541.

Training Opportunities. Currently, there are 2 fellows. Psychiatry residents may do PGY-4 electives and this program may have openings in the future for other departmental trainees.

Representatives Publications

Pollack MH, Otto MW, Worthington JJ, Manfro GG, Wolkow R. Sertraline treatment of panic

disorder results from a flexible dose controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1998; 55:1010-1016.

Otto MW, Pollack MH, Gould RA, Worthington JJ, Heimberg RG, McArdle ET, Rosenbaum JF. A Comparison of the efficacy of clonazepam and cognitive-behavioral group therapy for the treatment of social phobia. J Anxiety Disorders 2000; 14: 345-358.

Otto MW, Pollack MH, Maki KM. Empirically supported treatment for panic disorder: Costs, benefits, and stepped care. J Consult Clin Psychology 2000; 68: 553-556.

Safren SA, Lanka GD, Otto MW, & Pollack MH. Prevalence of childhood ADHD among patients with generalized anxiety disorder in a comparison condition with social phobia. Anxiety 2001. 13:190-191.

Simon NM, Blacker D, Korbly NB, Sharma SG, Worthington JJ, Otto MW, & Pollack MH. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in anxiety disorders revisited: new data and literature review. Journal of Affective Disorders. (in press).

Pollack MH & Otto MW (Eds): Longitudinal Perspectives on Anxiety Disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, WB Saunders, Philadelphia, 1995.

Department Of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School - 2 West - Room 305 - 401 Park Drive - Boston, MA 02215