Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School



Estrogen Receptor Modulator Raloxifene for Women with Schizophrenia

  Several years ago, we reviewed a paper suggesting that estrogen may have beneficial effects for women with schizophrenia.  In this study, women with schizophrenia were treated with estrogen in addition to their antipsychotic medications.  Adjunctive treatment with estrogen was associated with significant improvement in their positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), but the women experienced no […]

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Weekly Roundup for AUGUST 31, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

A new study looks at the effects of telephone-delivered depression care management in postpartum women.  The July issue of Birth Defects Research features a collection of reviews on perinatal mental health.   Telephone-Based Depression Care Management for Postpartum Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Wisner KL, Sit DKY, McShea M, Luther JF, Eng HF, Dills JL, […]

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Prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines and sibling-controlled cohort study

  Over the last decade, we have seen multiple studies looking at the long term effects of prenatal exposure to antidepressants, particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, on children’s behavior.  Although benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin), and sedative-hypnotic medications are used relatively frequently during pregnancy, we have much less information […]

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National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics Milestone

  We are excited to announce the enrollment of our 1000th participant in the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics! Formed in 2008, the Registry was established at MGH to prospectively evaluate the rates of malformations among infants exposed in utero to atypical antipsychotics. Data from the Registry thus far suggest that atypical antipsychotics as […]

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New Research from the CWMH: Patterns of Atypical Antipsychotic Use During Pregnancy

  The use of the newer “atypical” or second-generation antipsychotic agents is increasing.  Atypical antipsychotics are now used to treat a spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, PTSD and other anxiety disorders.  Using data from the Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) data of pregnant women who delivered infants born between 2001 and […]

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Weekly Roundup for AUGUST 18, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Brandlistuen and colleagues look at the long-term effects of prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines and sedative-hypnotics, attempting to control for genetic and environmental confounds by using sibling-controlled comparisons.  Using data from Danish registers, Liu and colleagues find that first-onset nonpsychotic postpartum affective disorder can be a marker of underlying bipolarity. Association of prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines […]

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Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Associated with Psychiatric Illness in Offspring

  In the United States, the prevalence of smoking in pregnant women has declined; however, according to data gathered from 29 states by the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), about 13% of women smoked during the last 3 months of pregnancy.  The prevalence varied according to state, with the highest rates reported in West […]

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New Study at the CWMH: Course of ADHD During Pregnancy and the Postpartum

  About 1.4 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD, and about 60-80% of children diagnosed with ADHD will need to take their medication into adulthood. When girls diagnosed in childhood become reproductive-aged women, they face challenging decisions regarding how to proceed with their treatment when they are also family planning. There […]

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Prescribing Psychotropic Medications with Opioids During Pregnancy May Increase Risk for Neonatal Withdrawal

  Illicit opioid use has steadily increased over the past decade, and this increase is most prominent in the 18–25 age group, which includes women of reproductive age (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013). Paralleling this increase in illicit opiate use in this population has been a significant increase in the use of […]

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France Bans the Use of Valproic Acid in Some Women of Childbearing Age

There have long been concerns regarding the safety of the anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote) during pregnancy.  Back in 2009, the American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society recommended against the use of valproic acid in women of childbearing age because of the various risks associated with prenatal exposure.  Raising similar concerns in 2014, the European […]

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