Registration is now open for the 19th Annual ECNP-OCRN-ICOCS Scientific Meeting. The topic of this year’s meeting is the ICOCS-CANMAT Guidelines: New International Treatment Guidelines for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain, as well as virtually over Zoom, on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.
Registration is free for paid-up ICOCS and OCRN members. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and specify if you are attending in person or virtually.
ICOCS is pleased to announce our participation at the 2023 WASAD Congress that is taking place in Zurich, Switzerland from September 11-13.
The topic of this year’s Congress is “Dealing with stress and anxiety in a world of chronic crises: What we can learn from translational perspectives”, and covers a variety of mental health disorders related to stress and anxiety, including ADHD, depression, panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, cognitive dysfunctions and others. The Congress features talks given by several keynote speakers, including the ICOCS secretary, Naomi Fineberg, and ICOCS co-chair, Eric Hollander.
A message from Congress coordinator and ICOCS co-chair, Prof. Susanne Walitza:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen
This year the “World Association for Stress related and Anxiety Disorders” (WASAD) is holding its conference in Zurich (Switzerland) on September 11-13, 2023 together with the annual conference of the Swiss Society for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (SGZ).
The International College of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (ICOCS) will also join the conference, making this the first time that WASAD, ICOCS and SGZ will hold a joint event on September 13, 2023 and allowing ICOCS to support a national society for obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Prof. Naomi Fineberg heads the Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and was very much involved in the Nice Guidelines for the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders. She will talk about “links between Pathological Media Use and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.
Prof. Eric Hollander, Director of Research on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders and Autism at the Albert Einstein Institute in New-York (USA) and a member of the DSM-5 Steering Group on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, will present “inflexible thinking in autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan”.
Prof. Stefano Pallanti, Professor at the Albert Einstein Institute in New-York (USA) and at the Imperial College London (UK), will discuss the “evidence of PANDAS” (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders associated with Streptococcal Infections).
In the afternoon, there will be parallel practical in-depth workshops on different topics.
In addition, the entire WASAD conference from September 11-13, 2023, offers the opportunity to exchange information about the latest research on stress, stress management, and anxiety disorders.
We think this is also very helpful in coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Internationally renowned experts, societies, and institutions will present new findings and invite you all to share, interact and discuss.
More information about the Congress, as well as registration details and how to submit a poster, can be found at the WASAD Congress website: https://wasad2023.org/
UK Charity, Orchard need participants for their new OCD survey on new or alternative forms of OCD therapy.
This survey will help recruitment for OCD studies and those participating will be vital to the development of OCD treatments, which could help many others in the future.
Those participating must be 18 and over and self-identify as having OCD. They do not need to have an official diagnosis of OCD in order to participate. It will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.
The 17th Annual Scientific Meeting of the ECNP-OCRN International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS) was held in Lisbon on 1st October 2021. This year for the first time it was a hybrid event, with 17 in-person and 21 remotely attending participants spread across the world. As a brand-new format, it was a great success, conducted according to all preventive measures toward the COVID19 pandemic and allowing the widest possible number of interested people to actively participate.
The main focus of the meeting was on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic and lockdown on patients in particular with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and how to manage them in this period of uncertainty. Firstly, Dr Luca Pellegrini (Early Career Scientist, Hertfordshire, UK) gave a talk and presented new data about the role of obsessive-compulsive traits and rigidity in the general public on adaptation to the release of COVID-19 restrictions (post-lockdown adjustment). Professor Michael Van Ameringen (Hamilton, Canada) and Professor Bernardo Dell’Osso (Milan, Italy) reported clinical data from different OCD tertiary clinics in Canada and in Northern Italy respectively. Their presentations were followed by an audience discussion on, but not limited to, how the restriction and then release phases impacted differently on patients’ clinical symptoms as assessed by the major psychometric scales (YBOCS, HAM-A, HAM-D…). After that followed two fascinating lectures on the topic of neuroimmunology. Professor Astrid Morer (Barcelona, Spain), whose background is in this subject, gave a detailed explanation of the neuroimmune hypothesis of OCD, from a historical and contemporary perspective. She described how the field had moved forward since the discovery of pediatric autoimmune disorders associated with infection with streptococcus (PANDAS) to a broader concept of pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndromes (PANS) as infection-induced autoimmune conditions that disrupt a young patient’s normal neurological functioning, resulting in a sudden onset of OCD and/or motor tics, amongst other symptoms, likely based at least in part on brain-based molecular mimicry. Obtaining a correct diagnosis can be challenging and may be aided by serological tests. The contribution of immune therapies is a matter of ongoing research interest. Professor Morer then went on to discuss how this body of knowledge may help us better understand the relationship between OCD and the consequences of viral infections in the context of the COVID era. This led nicely onto the lecture by Professor Stefano Pallanti (Florence, Italy), who presented new insights into the neuroimmune mechanisms in post-COVID NeuroSyndrome in OCD and afterward that of Prof. Eric Hollander (New York, USA), who introduced novel therapeutics targeting IL-6 proinflammatory Cytokines and T-Cells as a promising treatment undergoing active investigation for autism spectrum disorders that may be of value in OCD.
After the presentations, it was possible to look at the submitted posters that covered a wide variety of interesting topics associated with OCD including the role of microbiota and the epigenetic axis, the association between cannabis use and OCD symptoms, and cyberchondria and other forms of problematic use of the internet as relevant comorbidities in OCD. These are just a few examples of a long and exciting list! Among all the valuable contributions, a poster on a meta-analysis investigating the effectiveness of r-TMS in SSRI-resistant and non-SSRI-resistant OCD subgroups, conducted at University of Hertfordshire (lead author Dr Luca Pellegrini), was awarded the prestigious Herman Westenberg Prize.
At the end of the day, it was time for the Annual General Meeting and activity planning for the next year, during which it was discussed, among many other issues, how to improve the accessibility of the ICOCS website, how to raise awareness of our organisations to encourage new members to join us, and how to update the ICOCS research database. Finally, Professor Naomi Fineberg (ICOCS Secretary, UK) presented an exciting new networked grant application, for competitive submission to the Horizon Europe funding agency. The project intends to investigate the impact of increased digitalization on society, with a specific focus on problematic internet use.
*Registration is now closed. Thank you to all of our members who attended the meeting.*
Registration is now open for the ICOCS meeting that is being held during the 60th Annual ACNP Meeting in Puerto Rico in December. We are happy to announce that this will be a hybrid event.
The ICOCS meeting will take place on Monday, December 6, 2021 from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm in the Chrysler Conference Room at the Puerto Rico Convention Centre, and members will also be able to join the meeting virtually using Zoom.
Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. Registration is free for all paid-up ICOCS and OCRN members. Please email email@example.com to register.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICOCS Annual Scientific Meeting, which was going to be held in Vienna, Austria this year, was changed to a virtual meeting.
The meeting took place on September 10 and 11 via Zoom, and was attended by 35 of our members. The theme of the meeting was Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders under COVID-19, and it consisted of nine talks, a virtual poster session, and the ICOCS Annual General Meeting of Members. Most of the talks are available for members to view on our website here, and the virtual poster session is available for members to view here.
Thank you to all of our members who helped organize the meeting, and to all those who promoted and attended the event.
Comments from Meeting Attendees:
Well organized. Covered a broad range of studies of impact of COVID on OCD related disorders around the world.
Very interesting and valued contribution to our knowledge horizon.
This was an excellent occasion that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was inspired by the work that was presented. But I am disappointed that we could not meet in person. Hopefully, going forwards, there would be the opportunity to meet in person.
This publication is based upon work from COST Action CA 16207, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), linked to the Project “European Research Network into Problematic Usage of the Internet” (EU-PUI) and funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union in collaboration with: the International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS) and the Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders Research Network (OCRN) of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), and the Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Scientific Section of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)’
The International College of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders is pleased to be able to offer this resource to you for free. However, a donation to our organization is appreciated and will allow us to continue to do research in the field of OCD and associated disorders, as well as continue to provide free resources such as this.