Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Weekly Roundup for FEBRUARY 17, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

  It was a light week, but a lot of articles on depression and anxiety in expectant and postpartum fathers.  Perinatal anxiety and depression are less common in men as compared to women but still a significant concern, especially because the father’s mental health issues may coincide with and exacerbate maternal depression and anxiety. Ruta […]

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Vasomotor Symptoms and the Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

  While about 80% of peri- and postmenopausal women have vasomotor symptoms (VMS), such as night sweats and hot flashes, it has been observed that higher body mass index (BMI) and body fat are associated with an increased risk of vasomotor symptoms. Thus, it is reasonable to speculate that weight loss may prevent VMS. In […]

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Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale: A New Instrument for Assessing Postpartum Anxiety

  Several studies suggest that postpartum anxiety is relatively common among postpartum women and may even be more common than depression.  Emerging evidence also suggests that a large number of postpartum women who do not meet diagnostic criteria for a specific anxiety disorder yet experience a clinically significant anxiety symptoms which are distinct from anxiety […]

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Weekly Roundup for FEBRUARY 10, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

The Neurobiology of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. Pawluski JL, Lonstein JS, Fleming AS. Trends Neurosci. 2017 Feb;40(2):106-120. Functional Recovery After Postpartum Psychosis: A Prospective Longitudinal Study. Burgerhout KM, Kamperman AM, Roza SJ, Lambregtse-Van den Berg MP, Koorengevel KM, Hoogendijk WJ, Kushner SA, Bergink V.  J Clin Psychiatry. 2017 Jan;78(1):122-128. Implementation of Routine Postpartum Depression Screening […]

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What Causes Poor Neonatal Adaptation in Antidepressant-Exposed Infants?

It was back in 2005 when we first reported on studies which demonstrated an increased risk of “poor neonatal adaptation” in infants with prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants in late pregnancy.  Since that time, reports consistently indicate that about 25%-30% of infants exposed to SSRIs late in pregnancy manifest symptoms of […]

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How Can We Screen for Perinatal Depression in the Developing World?

While perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) have a global footprint, the majority of research related to this group of illnesses has come largely from more affluent, Westernized countries.  Similarly, the tools used to detect and screen for PMADs were developed and tested in these Westernized countries.   The instrument most commonly used to detect […]

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Weekly Roundup for FEBRUARY 3, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

  This week there are a few interesting articles on PMDD.  In the last edition of the DSM, PMDD was included as a formal diagnosis.  Several articles look at instruments which can be used to diagnose PMDD according the the DSM-5 criteria.   Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD   Obstetrical, pregnancy and socio-economic predictors for new-onset […]

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In Brief: Why Exercise Helps with Menopausal Hot Flashes

Some, but not all, research studies have shown that exercise training can reduce the frequency of hot flushes and can improve other non-vasomotor symptoms including depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  Nevertheless, these studies have solely relied on subjective questionnaires as the primary outcome.  But if exercise makes you feel hot and sweaty, how does it help […]

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How Does Postpartum Anxiety Affect Infants and Young Children?

Many studies have documented the finding that exposure to maternal psychiatric illness early on in the child’s life may adversely affect the child’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral development. These early studies focused on the impact of postpartum depression.  (The effects of PPD on the child are reviewed in Goodman et al, 2011.)  However, we know […]

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Preconception and Pregnancy Obesity Among Women with Psychiatric Disorders: An Important Risk Factor

Individuals with psychiatric disorders are at higher risk for obesity than the general population, as well as for medical comorbidity, such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.  Moreover, many medications for psychiatric disorders worsen this risk, particularly pharmacotherapy with atypical (second-generation) antipsychotic medications, used not only used for psychotic disorders, but increasingly as mood […]

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