Maternal Depression, But Not Exposure to SSRIs, Associated with Worse Executive Functioning in Children  

While we have considerable data on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy, most of this research focuses on the risk of congenital malformations in exposed children.  We have far less information regarding the long-term effects of SSRI antidepressants on neurodevelopmental outcomes in exposed children. A recent study looks at executive functioning in children at six years of age, measuring the impact of exposure to SSRIs, as well as exposure to maternal...

Oral Allopregnanolone Analogue for Postpartum Depression Treatment

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 a neurosteroid, an analogue of allopregnanolone and 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.  Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted unanimously in...

Prenatal Exposure to Valproic Acid: ADHD and Other Deficits in Cognitive Functioning

Previous studies have shown that children exposed to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy may be at increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.  In a recent population-based cohort study from Denmark, researchers examined the prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children with prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).  The conort included all liveborn singleton children born between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2011 (N?=?913?302). Information on exposure to AEDs during pregnancy was obtained from the Danish...

Weekly Roundup for JANUARY 11, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Happy New Year! Only a week into 2019, there is no shortage of articles to review and discuss.  Over the last week, the article that has received the most press is the one documenting the association between prenatal use of valproic acid and increased risk of ADHD in exposed offspring.  This adds to a long list of deleterious effects stemming from prenatal exposure to valproic acid, including high risk of congenital malformations,  increased risk of...

Happy New Year from the Center for Women’s Mental Health

Another year, and an opportunity to reflect on the past year.  It has been another very active year in the field of women’s mental health, with no shortage of articles in this field.  We continue to see analyses addressing the reproductive safety of various medications; many of these studies have relied on large medical databases and have made a diligent effort to control for potential confounding factors, including maternal psychiatric illness. Many studies have focused...

Project TEACH Offers Phone Consultation to Providers in New York

We continue to make strides in terms of increasing public awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to providing access to mental health professionals with expertise in this area.  We are very excited about a new initiative. The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health is now working collaboratively with the State of New York to provide educational materials and clinical support to providers...