Zahinoor Ismail, MD, MSc, FRCPC
2013 ASM Committee, Chair
Associate Professor, University of Calgary
“Emerging Concepts in Geriatric Psychiatry” was the theme of the Annual Scientific Meeting this year, held on September 25th in Ottawa. As the keynote speaker, Dr. Benoit Mulsant provided an update on DSM5 for Geriatric Psychiatry. His engaging presentation simplified a complex development in our field and made it clear and straight-forward for the clinician to appreciate. The afternoon plenary session was entitled “Advances in Therapeutic Brain Stimulation” and was co-presented by Dr. Daniel Blumberger and Dr. Paul Lespérance. Dr. Blumberger summarized the role of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, ECT and Magnetic Seizure Therapy in the geriatric population. Dr. Lespérance reviewed the role of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in older adults and described the research in Vagus Nerve Therapy and its potential use in geriatric psychiatry.
Workshops covered a broad array of topics including how to disclose a dementia diagnosis, reviewing neuroimaging guidelines in dementia, CBT techniques for older adults, and development of an algorithmic approach to treatment of late-life depression.
Concurrent paper sessions focused on a number of common themes, including use of technology (artificial intelligence and telepsychiatry), psychotropic medication safety issues, health systems issues, and physician assisted suicide/euthanasia.
The CAGP fellowship award was given to Dr. Jennifer Brault, who presented her ongoing research in melatonin for insomnia in older adults. The award for Outstanding Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry was shared by Drs. Melissa Andrew and Catherine Shea for their devoted and successful efforts over many years at getting Geriatric Psychiatry designated an official subspecialty by the Royal College.
Next year’s ASM will be held in Toronto on September 9 and 10, in partnership with the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health.