Anxiety & Complicated Grief Program Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Psychiatry Research Anxiety & Complicated Grief Program Research

Anxiety & Complicated Grief Program Research

Researchers in the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry study a variety of anxiety- and grief-related conditions and seek to better understand their key characteristics and improve outcomes.

Under the leadership of Naomi M. Simon, MD, we focus our research on the optimization of treatment outcomes. This includes the development of new treatments, as well as better understanding the presentation and biological impact of trauma, loss, and anxiety disorders.

We conduct clinical and translational research on panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and complicated grief disorder.

Clinical Studies for Anxiety Disorders

Because of the evolving situation with 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are temporarily pausing new participant recruitment for all Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program clinical trials until further notice. Please check back periodically as we will update this website when new enrollment reopens.

Comparative Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Pharmacotherapy for Anxiety

The purpose of this research study is to compare the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based treatment called mindfulness-based stress reduction with that of an antidepressant medication (escitalopram) for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. After medical and psychiatric evaluations are completed, eligible participants are randomly assigned (that is, by chance) to one of two treatment regimens, which will last approximately eight weeks: mindfulness-based stress reduction or escitalopram therapy. Eligible participants will receive compensation for the time they spend completing study assessments.

Key eligibility criteria: Adults ages 18 to 75 who have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or agoraphobia.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Suzuki, research coordinator, at 646-754-4773 or rebecca.suzuki@nyulangone.org. View additional clinical trial information, including full eligibility criteria.

Walking or High Intensity Exercise for Anxiety: A Pilot Study

The purpose of this study is to help identify a titration program that will help people adhere to a new program of exercise and eventually feel able to complete high intensity exercise. We are interested in how this program can help people with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or panic disorder. If you are eligible for this study, you will be instructed on completion of a 2-month exercise intervention. We also provide treatment referrals.

Key eligibility criteria: Adults ages 18 to 65 who have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or panic disorder and are currently sedentary (≤60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for past 3 months).

For more information, please contact Bryana Schantz, research coordinator, at 212-404-3478 or bryana.schantz@nyulangone.org. View additional clinical trial information, including full eligibility criteria.

Clinical Studies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following post-traumatic stress disorder studies are currently enrolling patients.

Enhancing Fear Extinction via Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor Inhibition: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Our researchers are examining whether losartan, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved medication that is commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, is effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. After medical and psychiatric evaluations are completed, eligible participants are randomly assigned to receive losartan or placebo for approximately 12 weeks.

Key eligibility criteria: Adults ages 18 to 70 years who have post-traumatic stress disorder or who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms for at least 3 months.

Participants receive compensation for their time.

For more information, please contact Madeleine Rassaby at 646-754-4895 or madeleine.rassaby@nyulangone.org. View additional clinical trial information, including full eligibility criteria.

Clinical Studies for Complicated Grief

The following study on complicated grief is currently enrolling patients.

Understanding the Role of Sleep in Complicated Grief: A Pilot Study

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the causes of complicated grief in people who experience the death of a loved one. We want to learn more about sleep patterns and emotions in people with complicated grief, a form of long-lasting, distressing, and impairing grief. If participants complete the first part of the study and qualify, they may be eligible for a second treatment study. We also provide treatment referrals.

Key eligibility criteria: Adults ages 25 to 60 who have experienced complicated grief after the death of a loved one and grief symptoms occurring for at least 6 months.

Participant information remains private. Participants complete a home sleep assessment and receive compensation for their time.

For more information, please contact Carly Miron at 646-754-7035
or carly.miron@nyulangone.org. View additional clinical trial information, including full eligibility criteria.

Research Funding

Walking or High Intensity Exercise for Anxiety: A Pilot Study and Understanding the Role of Sleep in Complicated Grief: A Pilot Study are supported by internal funding. Our other studies are funded by government agencies and not-for-profit research institutes.

Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute

Comparative Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Pharmacotherapy for Anxiety

Department of Defense

Enhancing Fear Extinction via Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor Inhibition: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Research Training

Postdoctoral fellows and resident psychiatrists have opportunities to conduct research with our faculty in anxiety and complex grief.

Program Researchers

Our program researchers are experts in the field of anxiety, stress and grief.

Naomi M. Simon, MD

Kristin L. Szuhany, PhD

Matteo Malgaroli, PhD
matteo.malgaroli@nyulangone.org

Dr. Matteo Malgaroli is a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University and completed his clinical internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. His work in the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program and in the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone focuses on understanding adjustment and resilience following loss and trauma. Dr. Malgaroli is also an adjunct assistant professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a lecturer at NYU Langone, teaching computational and research methods to psychiatry residents, fellows, and psychology graduate students. His research interests include machine learning approaches to improve classification and tease heterogeneity in mental health outcomes.

Peter Na, MD
peter.na@nyulangone.org

Dr. Peter Na is a resident psychiatrist in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry Residency, where he splits his time between clinical care and research with the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program. He graduated from Seoul National University College of Medicine and earned an MPH from Harvard University. Dr. Na has interests in developing a variety of approaches to better understand and address risk factors for suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, and complicated grief.

Rachel Eakley, MSN, MA, PMHNP
rachel.eakley@nyulangone.org

Rachel Eakley is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with the Anxiety and Complicated Grief Program. Before being drawn to the applied clinical work of nursing, she studied psychology and English at Boston University, followed by a master’s degree in psychology at NYU. She then completed both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at NYU, specializing in mental health. She has years of clinical experience as a psychiatric nurse and training in rational emotive behavioral therapy and mindfulness modalities. Her interests include the relationship between physical and mental health and improving access to evidence-based interventions for depression and anxiety.

Research Staff

Carly Miron
Program Coordinator
carly.miron@nyulangone.org
646-754-7035

Madeleine Rassaby
Research Coordinator
madeleine.rassaby@nyulangone.org
646-754-4895

Bryana Schantz
Research Data Associate
bryana.schantz@nyulangone.org
212-404-3478

Rebecca Suzuki
Research Staff
rebecca.suzuki@nyulangone.org
646-754-4895

Research Volunteers

Emma Jennings
emma.jennings@nyulangone.org

Camille Johnson
camille.johnson@nyulangone.org

Contact Us

If you have questions about our research program, you can reach us at 888-449-6779 (888-44-WORRY) or at anxietystudy@nyulangone.org. For more information about research opportunities such as postdoctoral fellowships, research coordinator, or volunteering with our group, please email Carly Miron, program coordinator, at carly.miron@nyulangone.org.

We begin recruiting for research coordinator positions in January each year to begin the following June.

Recent Publications

Our faculty regularly publish on anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and complicated grief in peer-reviewed journals. Here is a selection of our recent publications.

Anhedonia is central for the association between quality of life, metacognition, sleep, and affective symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder: A complex network analysis

Barthel, Abigail L; Pinaire, Megan A; Curtiss, Joshua E; Baker, Amanda W; Brown, Mackenzie L; Hoeppner, Susanne S; Bui, Eric; Simon, Naomi M; Hofmann, Stefan G

Journal of affective disorders. 2020 Dec 01; 277:1013-1021

Mental Health Disorders Related to COVID-19-Related Deaths

Simon, Naomi M; Saxe, Glenn N; Marmar, Charles R

JAMA. 2020 Oct 20; 324:1493-1494

Efficacy of Yoga vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Stress Education for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Simon, Naomi M; Hofmann, Stefan G; Rosenfield, David; Hoeppner, Susanne S; Hoge, Elizabeth A; Bui, Eric; Khalsa, Sat Bir S

JAMA psychiatry. 2020 Aug 12;

The pain of grief: Exploring the concept of psychological pain and its relation to complicated grief, depression, and risk for suicide in bereaved adults

Frumkin, Madelyn R; Robinaugh, Donald J; LeBlanc, Nicole J; Ahmad, Zeba; Bui, Eric; Nock, Matthew K; Simon, Naomi M; McNally, Richard J

Journal of clinical psychology. 2020 Jul 14;

Residual symptoms of PTSD following Sertraline plus enhanced medication management, Sertraline plus PE, and PE plus placebo

Tripp, Jessica C; Norman, Sonya B; Kim, H Myra; Venners, Margaret R; Martis, Brian; Simon, Naomi M; Stein, Murray B; Allard, Carolyn B; Rauch, Sheila A M

Psychiatry research. 2020 Jul 04; 291:113279

Development of wellness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic response

Spray, Amanda M.; Patel, Nikhil A.; Sood, Ashvin; Wu, Stephanie X.; Simon, Naomi M.; Podbury, Rachel; Vasserman, Ariela; Caravella, Rachel A.; Silverman, Yona; Pochtar, Randi; Liaw, K. Ron Li; Ackerman, Marra G.

Psychiatric annals. 2020 Jul 01; 50:288-294

Neural function during emotion processing and modulation associated with treatment response in a randomized clinical trial for posttraumatic stress disorder

Duval, Elizabeth R; Sheynin, Jony; King, Anthony P; Phan, K Luan; Simon, Naomi M; Martis, Brian; Porter, Katherine E; Norman, Sonya B; Liberzon, Israel; Rauch, Sheila A M

Depression & anxiety. 2020 Jul ; 37:670-681

Two-way messaging therapy for depression and anxiety: longitudinal response trajectories

Hull, Thomas D; Malgaroli, Matteo; Connolly, Philippa S; Feuerstein, Seth; Simon, Naomi M

BMC psychiatry. 2020 Jun 12; 20:297