Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Prenatal Valproic Acid Exposure and Poor School Performance in Older Children

  There have long been concerns regarding the use of the anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote) during pregnancy.  First trimester use of valproate has been associated with a 3-5% risk of neural tube defects, as well as an increased risk of other malformations affecting the heart, limbs, and genitals. Prenatal exposure to valproate may also result in […]

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One in Four Pregnant Women Suffers from Psychiatric Illness: How Can We Identify and Support Them?

  The title of the following article did not grab my attention; however, I discovered that this study, entitled Accuracy of the Whooley questions and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in identifying depression and other mental disorders in early pregnancy published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, has some incredibly important findings. First of all, […]

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Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Postpartum Hemorrhage: Maybe There Are Other Factors Involved

  Serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants may affect platelet aggregation and thus may increase the risk of bleeding.  Over the last few years, we have seen several studies which have sought to determine if exposure to SSRI antidepressants in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage. The most recent study was a […]

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Announcing the MGH Perinatal Depression Scale (MGHPDS) Mobile App Now Available for Android

  Following the release of the MGH Perinatal Depression Scale (MGHPDS) on the App Store this past August, we are pleased to announce that the MGHPDS is now available for Android devices on the Google Play store: The MGHPDS smartphone app includes digital versions of perinatal depression screening tools including the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression […]

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Hormone Therapy May Prevent Depression in Perimenopausal Women: But What Are the Risks?

  Multiple studies have demonstrated that the menopausal transition is associated with a 2- to 4-fold increased risk for clinically significant depressive symptoms. There have been several studies suggesting that hormone therapy may improve depressive symptoms in women presenting with depression during this transition.  A recent study examined the efficacy of hormone replacement therapy in preventing […]

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Weekly Roundup for March 30, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

This week there are two very interesting articles which look at the impact of parental exposure to adverse childhood experiences may affect a child developmental outcomes.  Colker and colleagues note that about 20% of women with histories of psychiatric illness experience suicidal ideation during the postpartum period. Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD Parental Adverse Childhood Experiences […]

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Understanding the Interplay Between Depression and Menopausal Symptoms

  It has previously been reported that women seeking treatment at menopause clinics are more likely to report significant physical symptoms (e.g., vasomotor complaints), as well as depressive symptoms and anxiety. On the other hand, most women in the community do not experience significant depression while transitioning into the menopause. Thus, it is important to […]

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In Brief: Does Micronized Progesterone Relieve Perimenopausal Symptoms?

For decades, estrogen was used as a component of hormone replacement therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbance; however, after several large, prospective studies (e.g., HERS, WHI) questioned the safety of long-term use of HRT, as well as its efficacy to prevent cardiovascular disease, many women have decided to […]

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Weekly Roundup for March 23, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

  This week includes several good reviews.  The first one is a review of postpartum anxiety. Thomson and Sharma review the treatment of bipolar disorder during pregnancy.  And there is also a review of IPT for the treatment of perinatal depression. Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD Postnatal anxiety prevalence, predictors and effects on development: A narrative […]

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Fetal Alcohol Disorders More Common Tnan Previously Thought

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) refers to a constellation of disorders resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol; the manifestations include birth defects, developmental disabilities, and neurological and behavioral problems. Prenatal alcohol exposure is the most common preventable cause of birth defects, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the most commonly identifiable causes of developmental delays […]

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