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Review of the ICOCS-OCRN Meeting: Next Generation Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders

The ICOCS-OCRN Meeting: Next Generation Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders was held in New York City at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on May 6th 2024. This meeting was a hybrid event, hosting 81 virtual participants in addition to our in-person attendees!

The main focus of the meeting was to highlight the latest cutting edge treatments for Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders. 

First, we heard from Dr. Christopher Pittenger (MD PhD Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut) who gave a talk on emerging experimental evidence, including his own work, showing that psilocybin holds promise of acute efficacy in OCD. Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez (MD PhD Stanford Medicine, California) critically reviewed the mixed results for Intravenous Ketamine, a NMDA receptor glutamate antagonist in OCD, including her own groundbreaking randomised controlled trials which showed evidence of rapid yet relatively short-lived efficacy. Dr. Eric Hollander (MD Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York) moved on to review some new work from a series of open label cases which showed promising findings for Intranasal Esketamine, the purportedly more active enantiomer, in a mixed group of depressed patients with comorbid OCD symptoms including some with treatment-resistant OCD. Dr. Michael Van Ameringen (MD McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario) reviewed the existing and mixed evidence on the effects of cannabinoids, including THC and cannabidiol in OCD. Their presentations were followed by stimulating talk by Marc Summers, who shared a moving presentation describing his personal lived experience of a lifetime of OCD, which he is currently running as a highly successful one man play off Broadway – The life and slimes of Marc Summers. Marc pressed home on not only the impact of OCD, alluding to its corrosive effect on mood, highly familial nature and how so many people suffer in silence, but also, some of the positives associated with obsessive-compulsive behaviours including, but not limited to, persistence. Next, Dr. Humberto Nicolini (MD PhD National Institute of Mental Health, Mexico) presented compelling evidence from a large epidemiological and genetic study in Mexico which indicated that polygenic risk scores for cannabis use overlap strongly with polygenic risk scores (PRS) for psychosis and suggested that people with OCD at increased genetic risk for cannabis use might have increased actual risk of cannabis use and an associated development of psychosis. Casara Jean Ferretti (MS MA PhD Candidate Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York) shared details on a possible role for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists in treating obesity, impulsive and compulsive behaviours in obsessive compulsive and related disorders. Finally, Dr. Bernardo Dell’Osso (MD University of Milan, Italy) shared the details of an upcoming joint initiative of the ICOCS and OCRN – Training Masterclass: Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, from translational models to clinical management – our first training masterclass in OCD, a virtual webinar to be held in Taormina, Italy from June 19th-23rd! Further details of this upcoming initiative can be found here. As the meeting approached its end, Naomi Fineberg (MBBS, MA, MRCPsych University of Hertfordshire) and David Nutt (DM, FRCP, FRPsych, FSB, FMedSci Kings College, London) shared the stage as they most gracefully brought this meeting to its end, detailing not only a summary of the intriguing talks that took place but also a positive outlook on the future of OCD research and of the potential treatments for patients with OCD. 

The recording of the ICOCS-OCRN Meeting: Next Generation Treatments for Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders can be found on our website here.

ICOCS-OCRN 2024 New York Meeting

Join us on Monday May 6th from 9 am – 3 pm EDT to learn about the latest cutting-edge treatments for OCD and related disorders from leading experts in the field!

LOCATION: Hybrid – LeFrak Auditorium Price Centre, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This meeting will also be live streamed via zoom for virtual attendees. 

WHEN: Monday May 6th 9 AM – 3 PM EDT

REGISTRATION: Free for ICOCS members and Einstein-Montefiore Students, Faculty and Staff, $25 for all other attendees. To register for the meeting click HERE.

Please see below for more information.

ECNP-OCRN-ICOCS Training Masterclass

____________ Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders: __________ from translational models to clinical management

Registration for attending the live webinar will has closed. You may still register gain access to the meeting recordings via the following link:

The aim of this masterclass is to offer attendees up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge in the field of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (OCSDs) with specific emphasis on: 

  1.   Diagnosis and assessment
  2.   Neurobiology, clinical insights and comorbidity
  3.   Animal models
  4.   Neuroimaging data
  5.   Therapeutic interventions                                                                                                                                          … and other key topics!


This is a 5-day masterclass that will take place in Taromina, Italy, and will be hosted virtually from Wednesday June 19th to Sunday June 23rd, 2024. The recording of the masterclass will also be made available to registered participants. Click HERE to see the schedule of events.

Paid-up ICOCS members will be entitled to a 50% off discount on registration fees. 

  • Full 5-day masterclass participation registration fee: 300 for academics and clinicians, and €150 for residents, students and trainees. Discounted price for ICOCS members: €150 and €75, respectively.
  • Single day participation registration fee: €50 for all participants (academics, clinicians,  residents, students and trainees). Discounted price for ICOCS members: €25

If you are not currently an ICOCS member, and would like to attend the meeting, we encourage you to apply for ICOCS membership HERE.

For any technical difficulties or questions you have during the livestreaming of the event, please email  

Understanding Eating Disturbances in OCD Survey

University of Hertfordshire PhD student, Sonay Kucukterzi-Ali, invites all healthcare professionals with 1+ years’ experience working with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to participate in a study investigating eating disturbances in OCD.

This study is comprised of two parts

Part one involves completing a brief online survey, which takes approximately 10 minutes. The survey is designed for healthcare professionals, of any discipline, regardless of their country of practice. 

Part two (optional) involves participating in an interview to further explore views on eating disturbances in OCD. Participants can be of any healthcare/clinical profession but must be based in the United Kingdom.

  • Interviews will last between 30-60 minutes and are completed remotely. For further information or to express interest in Part two, please email Sonay Kucukterzi-Ali at

Participation in any part of the study is anonymous and, as a gesture of thanks, all participants will receive a continuing professional development (CPD) certificate, endorsing their contribution. 

ECNP-OCRN-ICOCS 19th Annual Scientific Meeting

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 and specify if you are attending in person or virtually.

If you are not currently an ICOCS member, but would like to attend the meeting, we encourage you to apply for ICOCS membership:

Please visit here for more program details, as well as the guidelines for submitting a poster abstract.

WASAD 2023 Congress – September 11-13, Zurich, Switzerland

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.  

Conference Highlights: 

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:

Orchard OCD Survey on New OCD Treatments

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.

Below is the link to our survey:

Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders under COVID-19 – ICOCS Special Issue

The International College of Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders is pleased to share a special issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research on Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders under COVID-19. The special issue, edited by Eric Hollander and Michael Van Ameringen, contains 14 papers.

Correlates of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders symptom severity during the COVID-19 pandemic

The impact of coronavirus on individuals with problematic hoarding behaviours

Modulating neuroinflammation in COVID-19 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Media use and emotional distress under COVID-19 lockdown in a clinical sample referred for internalizing disorders: A Swiss adolescents’ perspective

Individual obsessive-compulsive traits are associated with poorer adjustment to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions

An international cross-sectional investigation on social media, fitspiration content exposure, and related risks during the COVID-19 self-isolation period

The impact of COVID-19 on patients with OCD: A one-year follow-up study

Obsessive-compulsive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic

Stress, academic burnout, smartphone use types and problematic smartphone use: The moderation effects of resilience

Resilience predicts positive mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Yorkers with and without obsessive-compulsive disorder

Parental surveillance of OCD and mental health symptoms during COVID-19: A longitudinal study of Australian children, adolescents and families

The COVID-19 pandemic and problematic usage of the internet: Findings from a diverse adult sample in South Africa

Obsessive-compulsive symptoms among the general population during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave in Italy

First vs second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder: A multicentre report from tertiary clinics in Northern Italy

The full special issue can be found here: