No Increased Risk of Autism in Children Prenatally Exposed to Commonly Used Antidepressants

Concerns regarding a link between antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism emerged when two epidemiologic studies demonstrated an association between prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders in the offspring (ASD; Croen et al 2011, Rai et al, 2013).  One important limitation of these earlier studies is that parental psychiatric disorder in itself is associated with an increased risk of ASD in the offspring, and...

New Study at CWMH: A Neurosteroid Intervention for Menopausal and Perimenopausal Depression

Women are twice as likely as men to have major depressive disorder (MDD) during their lifetimes, and women are particularly at risk during the menopausal transition (including perimenopause and early menopause), which can last many years. Typically starting after age 40, this period is characterized by fluctuations in hormones and various physical symptoms like hot flashes, as well as mood symptoms. Although some treatments are available, many women would like to have more treatment options...

In Brief: Being An Older Dad Associated with Worse Pregnancy Outcomes

This study is something to keep in mind when we evaluate neonatal outcomes in mothers taking psychotropic medication.  We typically consider maternal, but not paternal, characteristics as factors which may affect neonatal outcomes; however, this large study published in BMJ indicates that the age of the father may also affect neonatal outcomes.   Researchers examined data on 40 million live births between 2007 and 2016. After adjusting for maternal age and other potential confounders, they...

Weekly Roundup for NOVEMBER 9, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

At this top of the list, we have a study which looked at prenatal exposure to a wide array of psychotropic medications and risk for autism spectrum disorders in the offspring.  They found no association between exposure to SSRIs and risk for autism. Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD Association of Autism Spectrum Disorder With Prenatal Exposure to Medication Affecting Neurotransmitter Systems. Janecka M, Kodesh A, Levine SZ, Lusskin SI, Viktorin A, Rahman R, Buxbaum JD, Schlessinger...

FDA Supports Intravenous Brexanolone for Postpartum Depression

In 2015, we first reported on SAGE-547 (SAGE Therapeutics), a new medication for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD).  SAGE-547, now called brexanolone, is an allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors.  Since that time, Sage Therapeutics has conducted three randomized controlled trials, enrolling a total of 247 women diagnosed with moderate to severe postpartum depression. This week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted unanimously in favor of approval for brexanolone intravenous infusion...

In Brief: Mindfulness for Menopausal Symptoms

A growing number of studies have shown that mindfulness may be an important tool for managing a spectrum of symptoms, including depression and anxiety during pregnancy.  A new research study presented at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2018 Annual Meeting in October suggests that mindfulness may also help to relieve menopausal symptoms. This cross-sectional study included 1744 women (40 to 65 years old, average 53.4) who were seen in the Women's Health Clinic at...