Dr. Carmen Andreescu’s Interview with NYT

The New York Times recently interviewed Dr. Carmen Andreescu regarding her work in FINA and RAW. An excerpt below:

Underdiagnosis also stems from older patients’ reluctance to ascribe their problems to psychological issues. “Some resent a label of ‘anxious,’” Dr. Andreescu said. “They’d rather call it ‘high stress,’ something that doesn’t indicate psychological weakness.”

And since aging involves genuine sources of fear and distress, from falls to bereavement, people may see anxiety as normal, as Ms. Tilton did.

It has serious consequences, however. “It has an impact on the health of our brains and our bodies,” Dr. Andreescu said. Studies have demonstrated connections between anxiety and cardiovascular disease, with greatly increased risks of coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and death. Patients with higher anxiety levels are more likely to engage in substance abuse, too.

The full article can be found here

New Paper: MRI predictors of pharmacotherapy response in major depressive disorder

We recently published a paper, first-authored by our postdoc Dr. Andrew Gerlach, on MRI predictors of antidepressant treatment outcome. This review covers structural and functional MRI, finding that region-specific measures such as increased hippocampal volume and decreased amygdala activation to negative stimuli were the most reliable predictors, though they lacked in specificity. Though currently divergent analytical methods hinder replicability, network-based measures hold promise for capturing the underlying neurobiological mechanisms.

Click here to read the full paper.


Drs. Carmen Andreescu, Helmet Karim, and Andrew Gerlach attended the Organization for Human Brain Mapping annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Drs. Karim and Gerlach presented their posters “Independent Replication of Advanced Brain Aging in Preclinical and Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease” and “Sex Moderates the Relationship between Functional Connectivity and Remission in Late-life Depression”. In addition to taking in a wealth of excellent talks on brain age, normative modeling, replicability, the association – sensorimotor gradient, and more, the lab did a bit of exploring around Glasgow and out to the Isle of Arran. Rail strikes made for adventurous travel, but with the help of a kindly local, they eventually made it to the island to take in Brodick Castle, Goatfell Mountain, and a wee dram (or 3) at the Arran Distil.

See more pics below:

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ARGO at Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP)

Dr. Carmen Andreescu presented at SOBP 2022 last week with a presentation titled: “Worried to Death – The Effects of Worry, Anxiety and Rumination on Brain Aging” in the symposium “Accelerated Biological aging: A Geroscience-Focus Approach to Understanding Brain Health and Late-Life Psychiatric Disorders Mechanisms and Outcomes.” This covered our recent work investigating the negative functional and structural effects of anxiety and worry in late life.

Dr. Helmet Karim presented at SOBP 2022 with a presentation title: “TMS Doses Based on Motor Threshold Differ between DLPFC, OFC, and Motor cortex: A Case for Electric Field Dosimetry in Clinical Studies.” This covered his work showing the importance of evaluating electrical field models when determining dosing strategies for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Dr. Karim was awarded a travel award to SOBP 2022!

Paper Featured on Pitt Psychiatry: New Research on the Intricate Nature of Worry’s Neural Signature

A recent ARGO publication was featured on the front page of the University of Pittburgh’s Psychiatry Department’s website. Below is an excerpt:

Severe worry is a complex transdiagnostic phenotype independently associated with increased morbidity, including cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment, and accelerated brain aging. A group of investigators, including Pitt Psychiatry scientists Andrew Gerlach, PhD (postdoctoral scholar); Helmet Karim, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Bioengineering); Joseph Kazan, MD (postdoctoral scholar); Howard Aizenstein, MD, PhD (Charles F. Reynolds III and Ellen G. Detlefsen Endowed Chair in Geriatric Psychiatry and Professor of Bioengineering and Clinical and Translational Science); and Carmen Andreescu, MD(Associate Professor of Psychiatry), investigated the intricate nature of worry’s neural signature. They recently published the results in Translational Psychiatry

The full post can be read here, and you can read the full paper referenced in this post here.