Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School


Credit: "Baby girl Hong Kong" by Foudeelau. Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Depression in Dads Affects Bonding

Multiple studies have shown that postpartum depression can interfere with bonding between the mother and her infant. While new fathers may also develop depression, little is known about how depression in the father affects bonding. A recent study from Sweden has taken a look at the association between maternal and paternal depressive symptoms and parental […]

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Managing Sleep Problems in Menopausal Women: What Are the Options?

Peri- and post-menopausal women frequently complain of insomnia or poor sleep quality. Sleep disturbance is often attributed to nocturnal hot flashes; however, a recent study from researchers at Wayne State University School of Medicine suggests that a sizeable proportion of menopausal women may have a primary sleep disorder.  There are various options for managing insomnia […]

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ACOG Issues Opinion on Marijuana in Pregnant and Nursing Women

With many states now moving forward with  the legalization of medical marijuana, there seems to be a growing sense that marijuana is relatively safe and may, in some cases, be more attractive or effective than traditional pharmacologic interventions.  The use of marijuana in the United States appears to be increasing.  According to a nationwide survey, […]

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Adjunctive Treatment with Medroxyprogesterone in Women with Acute Mania

Women with bipolar disorder often experience fluctuating mood symptoms across the menstrual cycle, typically reporting an exacerbation of symptoms during the premenstrual phase of the cycle (Rasgon et al, 2003, 2005).  Other studies have indicated that women with bipolar disorder have more affective instability as they transition into the menopause, when there are pronounced fluctuations […]

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Credit: Pregnant Woman from Wikimedia Commons

Brief Report: TMS for Depression During Pregnancy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS is similar to ECT but uses electromagnetic pulses to generate electrical current in specific regions of the brain that are known to modulate mood.  TMS is less likely to cause side effects and has thus been proposed as a possible alternative therapy for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression.  (You can […]

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Topiramate and Pregnancy: More on Risk of Major Malformations

Topiramate (TPM, marketed as Topamax) is an antiepileptic drug which is also used for migraine prophylaxis, weight loss, and, less commonly, as a mood stabilizer.  Over the last few years we have seen several studies suggesting an increased risk of oral clefts in infants exposed to topiramate during the first trimester of pregnancy.  A recent […]

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Calcium and Vitamin D Not Helpful for Menopausal Symptoms in Older Women

According to a new study, supplementation with calcium and vitamin D does not appear to improve menopause-related vasomotor symptoms, mood changes, or sleep quality in postmenopausal women. This was a secondary analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation Trial. 34,157 women (mean age of 64) were randomized to receive calcium carbonate 1000 mg […]

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From Ob Gyn News: Opportunities and Limits in Universal Screening for Perinatal Depression

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Obstetric Practice recently published a revised opinion on screening for perinatal depression, recommending that “clinicians screen patients at least once during the perinatal period for depression and anxiety symptoms using a standard, validated tool.” The statement adds that “women with current depression or anxiety, a […]

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Women with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Risk for Depression and Anxiety

In a recent cross-sectional study from Denmark, researchers compared the prevalence of stress and depressive symptoms among 301 women with recurrent pregnancy loss (or RPL) and 1813 women attempting to conceive naturally. RPL was defined as three or more pregnancy losses before 12 weeks’ gestation. The Major Depression Index (MDI) was used to assess symptoms […]

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Raloxifene Improves Cognition in Schizophrenia

Several years ago, we reviewed a paper suggesting that estrogen may be a beneficial treatment for women with schizophrenia.  In this study, patients with schizophrenia treated with estrogen.  There was significant improvement in their positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), but no difference in negative symptoms (reduction in range of emotional expression, poverty of speech, lack of […]

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