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CAGP Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

03 Nov 2014 10:19 AM | CAGP (Administrator)

In 2013 the CAGP delivered a rich and engaging conference in Ottawa. The conference was held at the Ottawa Convention Centre. A review of the conference confirmed that 109 attendees travelled to Ottawa to attend the meeting in spite of the inaugural Royal College Geriatric Psychiatry subspecialty certification exam being written across the country on the following day. The meeting proved to be not only a venue for dissemination of current knowledge in geriatric psychiatry, but also for networking and meeting with colleagues. Overall the meeting resulted in a net profit of $803. The keynote presentation this year was given by Dr. Benoit Mulsant on the topic of the changes relevant to geriatric psychiatry that were introduced with the publication of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. The plenary session was a panel entitled “Advances in Therapeutic Brain Stimulation,” presented by Dr. Daniel Blumberger and Dr. Paul Lespérance. In addition to the keynote and plenary session, this year’s annual meeting included a number of additional highlights. These included a workshop on how to disclose a diagnosis of dementia using a person-centred, comprehensive and progressive approach. Keeping with the theme of dementia, there was also a workshop devoted to reviewing the 4th Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia guidelines with respect to imaging and dementia. Participants had an opportunity to interact directly with members of the expert panel who came up with the guidelines, and increase their knowledge of neuroimaging as it pertains to dementia. In addition, there was a workshop entitled “Too Old for Therapy,” in which the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy were adapted for use in older adults

Further, Dr. Mulsant, in conjunction with Drs. Daniel Blumberger, Zahinoor Ismail, Kiran Rabheru and Mark Rapoport, led a workshop on developing an algorithmic approach to pharmacotherapy of late-life depression (LLD). Participants described their approaches to treatment of LLD at various stages of treatment and tried to integrate this into a stepped-care approach to treatment.

Concurrent paper sessions focused on a number of common themes, including use of technology, psychotropic medication, health systems issues and some controversial topics. Finally, the CAGP Fellowship Award was given to Dr. Jennifer Brault, who presented her ongoing research into “Exogenous Melatonin for Insomnia in Older Adults a Meta-analysis.” She described the research methodology and her plans for future research. The Outstanding Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry Award was shared by Drs. Melissa Andrew and Catherine Shea for their devoted and successful efforts over many years to have geriatric psychiatry officially recognized at the Royal College level.

In summary, the CAGP ASM was successful in providing current and up-to-date education in geriatric psychiatry, with a focus on new approaches and treatments.

At the time of writing this we are less than two weeks away from the two-day 2014 CAGP Annual Scientific Meeting partnered with the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, entitled: Innovations in Seniors’ Mental Health Care: Insights From the Frontiers of Research and Service Delivery. 

We are looking forward to an exciting and informative two days for the CAGP ASM jointly held with the CCSMH. This year’s meeting features many important multidisciplinary updates and information for those working in the field of seniors’ mental health. Our keynote and plenary speakers cover a wide range of topics related to geriatric mental health. On the first day Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada will be giving a keynote address speaking on seniors’ mental health: A Perspective from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The plenary talk on day one of the meeting will be given by Dr. Joel Sadavoy, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Inaugural CAGP President. He will be speaking on the very innovative approach to helping caregivers of patients with dementia entitled “Training Caregivers of Patients with Dementia.” Our second day will kick off with a keynote address from Dr. Eric Lenze, Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, and a leading expert in Late-Life Anxiety Disorders will give a very practical and instructive talk entitled “Managing Anxiety in Older Adults: 8 Simple Rules.” Finally, Dr. Mark Rapoport, President, Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry, will give a stimulating and insightful talk entitled Lear’s Shadow: Contemporary Lessons on Differential Diagnosis in Geriatric Psychiatry. Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to take a trip to Stratford to see a highly rated performance of King Lear arranged by the CAGP. We also have a wide range of symposia, workshops and paper presentations that cover the spectrum of topics from innovative experimental medicine approaches to understanding late-life mental disorders to creative psychotherapeutic approaches for grief and late-life depression.

The most notable challenge this year is the lower than expected sponsorship engagement. This may be related to the small turnout at last year’s meeting. However, sponsors have been very reluctant to support “geriatric” meetings due to a surge in negative press in the US over the last year. The committee engaged in multiple strategies to engage sponsors with little success. Alternative strategies and early engagement are planned for the 2015 meeting on September 30 in Vancouver to address the decline in sponsorship for the meeting. We have been able to obtain a very generous sponsorship from the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Overall, registration for the meeting has been strong with 203 registrants so far, in spite of the meeting occurring after the first week of return from summer vacation.

 The CAGP and CCSMH would like to thank the sponsors of the 2014 Annual Scientific meeting:




Daniel M. Blumberger,


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