Anxiety, Stress & Prolonged Grief Program Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Psychiatry Research Anxiety, Stress & Prolonged Grief Program Research

Anxiety, Stress & Prolonged Grief Program Research

Researchers in the Anxiety, Stress, and Prolonged 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 prolonged grief disorder.

COVID-19 Safety Considerations

In light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), our projects are conducted with careful adaptations to protect patient safety, either virtually or in person. All treatment and psychiatric assessments are performed virtually for the study “Comparative Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Pharmacotherapy for Anxiety.”

Clinical Studies for Anxiety Disorders

The following anxiety disorder studies are currently enrolling patients.

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

The purpose of this virtual 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 Emma Jennings, research coordinator, at 646-754-4507 or emma.jennings@nyulangone.org. View additional clinical trial information, including full eligibility criteria.

Optimizing Exercise for the Treatment of Anxiety

The purpose of this research study is to learn about the effects of different exercise regimens on anxiety and exercise engagement and adherence. If you are eligible for this study, you will complete a two-month exercise intervention and two follow-up assessments (total duration five to six months). The exercise intervention will either include low-intensity exercise only or a titration program in which you will start at low-intensity exercise and work your way up to high-intensity exercise. We also provide treatment referrals.

Key eligibility criteria: Adults ages 18 to 65 who have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and/or panic disorder who are currently sedentary.

Your information will remain private, and you will receive compensation for your time.

For more information about this study, please contact Margot Steinberg, research coordinator, at 646-754-4773 or margot.steinberg@nyulangone.org.

Clinical Studies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following post-traumatic stress disorder study is currently enrolling patients.

Estradiol as a Cognitive Enhancer for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women

Our researchers are examining whether estradiol (a form of estrogen) plus prolonged exposure (PE) therapy can improve outcomes for women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who are currently using an oral contraceptive.

Key eligibility criteria: Women aged 18 to 45 who are currently taking an oral contraceptive or using a vaginal birth control ring (e.g., NuvaRing) or the transdermal patch, and have at least one month of symptoms of PTSD following exposure to a traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, combat, a natural disaster, or a car accident.

Participants receive compensation for their time.

For more information about this study, please email behavioralneuroscience@nyulangone.org or call 646-754-7327.

Clinical Studies for Prolonged Grief

Our study on prolonged grief uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance evaluation of potential suicide risk factors following loss.

Computational Markers of Suicidal Ideation from Loss Narrative Recordings: A Proof of Concept Study

The loss of a spouse is among life’s most painful experiences, associated with significant distress, grief, and elevated risk for suicide. To improve assessment of potential suicide risk factors following loss, machine learning and artificial intelligence methods are used to examine indicators of stress in speech and language from interviews with bereaved individuals. Using these stress indicators, a model will be developed and tested to predict future suicidal ideation and long-term adjustment following the loss of a spouse.

Research Funding

Our 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

National Institutes of Health

Optimizing Exercise for the Treatment of Anxiety (principal investigator: Kristin L. Szuhany, PhD)

Estradiol as a Cognitive Enhancer for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women (principal investigator: Mohammed R. Milad, MD)

Capnography-Assisted Learned, Monitored (CALM) Breathing Therapy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (principal investigators: Anna Maria R. Norweg, PhD, and Naomi M. Simon, MD)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Computational Markers of Suicidal Ideation from Loss Narrative Recordings: A Proof of Concept Study (principal investigator: Matteo Malgaroli, PhD)

Research Training

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

Program Researchers

Our program researchers are experts in the field of anxiety, stress, trauma, and grief. We conduct research on the phenomenology, comorbidity, biological correlates, and treatment of anxiety disorders, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as exercise interventions for mental health.

Naomi M. Simon, MD

Kristin L. Szuhany, PhD

Matteo Malgaroli, PhD

Samrachana Adhikari, PhD

H.K. Eastburn, MS, PMHNP-BC
hk.eastburn@nyulangone.org

H.K. Eastburn is a psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner with the Anxiety, Stress, and Prolonged Grief Program and Psychedelic Research Group at NYU Langone. She has a BA in religious studies from Brown University and completed both her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Prior to becoming a nurse, she was a teaching artist with youth and adults in prisons, group homes, schools, nonprofits, and other community settings. With several years of inpatient psychiatric nursing experience, training in mindfulness, Zen meditation, and rational emotive behavior therapy, she brings a feminist, anti-racist, existential, solution-focused, and trauma-informed approach to her work in research and private practice psychiatry.

Research Staff

Alan Chen, MS
Data Analyst, Assistant Research Scientist
alan.chen@nyulangone.org

Emma Jennings
Research Coordinator
emma.jennings@nyulangone.org
646-754-4507

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

Margot Steinberg
Research Data Associate
margot.steinberg@nyulangone.org
646-754-4773

Research Volunteers

Adam Calderon
adam.calderon@nyulangone.org

Anjali Mehta
anjali.mehta2@nyulangone.org

Alexandra Vizents
alexandra.vizents@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 prolonged grief in peer-reviewed journals. Here is a selection of our recent publications.

Change in posttraumatic stress disorder-related thoughts during treatment: Do thoughts drive change when pills are involved?

Rauch, Sheila A M; Kim, H Myra; Venners, Margaret R; Porter, Katherine E; Norman, Sonya B; Simon, Naomi M; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Tuerk, Peter W; Acierno, Ronald E; Bui, Eric; Powell, Corey; Smith, Erin R; Goetter, Elizabeth; McSweeney, Lauren B

Journal of traumatic stress. 2022 Apr ; 35:496-507

Heterogeneity of posttraumatic stress, depression, and fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors: a latent class analysis

Malgaroli, Matteo; Szuhany, Kristin L; Riley, Gabriella; Miron, Carly D; Park, Jae Hyung; Rosenthal, Jane; Chachoua, Abraham; Meyers, Marleen; Simon, Naomi M

Journal of cancer survivorship. 2022 Feb 28;

Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Angiotensin Receptor Antagonist Losartan for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Stein, Murray B; Jain, Sonia; Simon, Naomi M; West, James C; Marvar, Paul J; Bui, Eric; He, Feng; Benedek, David M; Cassano, Paolo; Griffith, James L; Howlett, Jonathan; Malgaroli, Matteo; Melaragno, Andrew; Seligowski, Antonia V; Shu, I-Wei; Song, Suzan; Szuhany, Kristin; Taylor, Charles T; Ressler, Kerry J

Biological psychiatry. 2021 Oct 01; 90:473-481

Underuse of Behavioral Treatments for Headache: a Narrative Review Examining Societal and Cultural Factors

Langenbahn, Donna; Matsuzawa, Yuka; Lee, Yuen Shan Christine; Fraser, Felicia; Penzien, Donald B; Simon, Naomi M; Lipton, Richard B; Minen, Mia T

Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Oct ; 36:3103-3112

Acceptability of capnography-assisted respiratory therapy: a new mind-body intervention for COPD

Norweg, Anna Migliore; Skamai, Anne; Kwon, Simona C; Whiteson, Jonathan; MacDonald, Kyle; Haas, Francois; Collins, Eileen G; Goldring, Roberta M; Reibman, Joan; Wu, Yinxiang; Sweeney, Greg; Pierre, Alicia; Troxel, Andrea B; Ehrlich-Jones, Linda; Simon, Naomi M

ERJ open research. 2021 Oct ; 7:

Barriers and engagement in breast cancer survivorship wellness activities

Szuhany, Kristin L; Malgaroli, Matteo; Riley, Gabriella; Miron, Carly D; Suzuki, Rebecca; Park, Jae Hyung; Rosenthal, Jane; Chachoua, Abraham; Meyers, Marleen; Simon, Naomi M

Breast cancer research & treatment. 2021 Jul ; 188:317-325

Predictors of Response to Prolonged Exposure, Sertraline, and Their Combination for the Treatment of Military PTSD

Rauch, Sheila A M; Kim, H Myra; Lederman, Seth; Sullivan, Gregory; Acierno, Ron; Tuerk, Peter W; Simon, Naomi M; Venners, Margaret R; Norman, Sonya B; Allard, Carolyn B; Porter, Katherine E; Martis, Brian; Bui, Eric; Baker, Amanda W

Journal of clinical psychiatry. 2021 06 15; 82:

Reductions in guilt cognitions following prolonged exposure and/or sertraline predict subsequent improvements in PTSD and depression

Allard, Carolyn B; Norman, Sonya B; Straus, Elizabeth; Kim, H Myra; Stein, Murray B; Simon, Naomi M; Rauch, Sheila A M

Journal of behavior therapy & experimental psychiatry. 2021 Jun 01; 73:101666