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    Perimenopausal Depression in Women with More Variable Levels of Estradiol and Lower Progesterone Levels

    Women are at increased risk for depressive symptoms during the menopause transition.  It has long been suspected that falling estrogen levels play a role in triggering the onset of depression; however, if all women experience declining levels of estrogen and progesterone during this transition, why is it that only some women suffer from depression in this setting? A recent study has looked at how levels of estrogen and progesterone affect risk [...]

    September 15th, 2020|

    More Data on the Neuroactive Steroid Zuranolone for Postpartum Depression

    While we have heard a lot about brexanolone, marketed by Sage Therapeutics as Zulresso, for the treatment of postpartum depression, an oral version of this novel antidepressant – SAGE 217 or zuranolone – has been finishing up its Phase 3 trials. Like brexanolone, SAGE-217 is a neuroactive steroid, an analogue of allopregnanolone which is a positive allosteric modulator of the GABA-A receptor. What distinguishes SAGE-217 from brexanolone is that it has [...]

    September 14th, 2020|

    Weekly Roundup for SEPTEMBER 11, 2020: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

    Every week we review the most recent publications in women’s mental health, covering topics related to premenstrual symptoms, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, use of medications in pregnant and breastfeeding women, perinatal substance use, and menopausal mental health.  In studies looking at the neurodevelopment of children exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy, it is often different to distinguish between the direct effects of antidepressant exposure and the indirect effects of residual psychiatric [...]

    September 13th, 2020|

    Mitigating psychiatric disorder relapse in pregnancy during pandemic

    Dr. Lee S. Cohen, Director of the Ammon-Pinizzotto Center for Women's Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently shared his insights on mitigating psychiatric relapse during pregnancy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with Ob.Gyn News on August 28th, 2020 In a previous column, I addressed some of the issues that quickly arose in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for reproductive psychiatry. These issues ranged from the importance of sustaining [...]

    September 9th, 2020|

    Can Bright Light Therapy Be Used for the Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy?

    Every Wednesday, we have the pleasure of holding virtual rounds with other clinicians to discuss important topics in reproductive psychiatry.  So many great questions!  Last week, one of our participants asked about using light therapy for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.  This is a topic we haven’t covered for nearly a decade, so it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic.   Despite data to support the reproductive safety [...]

    September 9th, 2020|

    Why We Need Specialized Perinatal Mental Health Programs

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends screening for perinatal depression and anxiety, stating that “clinicians screen patients at least once during the perinatal period for depression and anxiety symptoms using a standard, validated tool.”   Approximately 40 states have instituted guidelines and recommendations regarding screening for perinatal depression; however, we are still gathering information on how successful these recommendations have been in terms  identifying and treating women [...]

    September 8th, 2020|
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