News Release

April 25, 2005

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

New Medication Being Tested for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Free Lecture Is May 3rd
National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day Is May 4th

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Everyone worries some of the time…but what if you worry most of the time? You may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The disorder is estimated to affect three to four percent of the population at any given time. It is characterized by chronic worrying and tension even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

“People with generalized anxiety disorder can’t seem to shake their concerns, they tend to dwell on things,” says Nicholas DeMartinis, M.D. assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center. “Their emotional fear and worry can be quite strong. If a loved one is ten minutes late, the person with GAD fears the very worst—there’s been an accident, they’re in the hospital.” These fears are usually accompanied by physical symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sleep Problems

Dr. DeMartinis is conducting a study which will test a new medication that may help ease the symptoms of GAD. The study will involve men and women age 18 or older who are suffering from moderate to severe anxiety and worry. Participants will receive either the investigational anxiety medication or a placebo. For more information, call 1-877-252-2225.

Anxiety Disorders Screening Day
If you’re not sure if you suffer from GAD or another anxiety disorder, there will be a free screening at the UConn Health Center on Wednesday, May 4. “Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to substance abuse, depression and suicide,” says Dr. DeMartinis. “That’s the sad news; the good news is these illnesses can effectively be treated. This screening day, part of a nationwide effort, is the first step in finding help.”

The screenings will take place from 8 to 9 a.m., from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Department of Psychiatry in Farmington at 10 Talcott Notch Road, East Lobby, 3rd Floor. Participants will be able to view a video on anxiety and depressive disorders, complete an anonymous screening questionnaire, obtain information on mental disorders and have a confidential meeting with a health care professional. To make an appointment for a free anxiety screening, call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692.

Discovery Series Program
In addition, recognizing anxiety disorders will be the subject of a Discovery Series program at the UConn Health Center on Tuesday, May 3. “The Magical Mystery Tour: Anxiety and the Mind-Body Connection” will also discuss medical treatments and relaxation techniques. Speakers will include Dr. DeMartinis and Karen Steinberg, Ph.D., a psychologist at the UConn Health Center.

The Discovery Series is free and begins at 7 p.m. in the Health Center’s Keller Auditorium. Registration is required. Please call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692.

This program is being sponsored by the Security Traders Association of Connecticut Endowment Fund.

The University of Connecticut Health Center includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, John Dempsey Hospital, the UConn Medical Group and University Dentists. Founded in 1961, the Health Center pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. To learn more about the UConn Health Center, visit our website at www.uchc.edua>.

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UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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