In Brief: Mothers with Affective Illness (Even In Remission) Have Deficits in Emotional Processing

We have long known that postpartum depression may have negative effects on the child and may contribute to deficits in social development and emotional regulation.  Exactly what mediates these effects is not so clear; however, researchers have observed that depressed mothers tend to be less responsive to their children’s emotional cues and are more likely to display negative affect. A recent study presented at the 31st European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Barcelona, Spain...

Pregnant Women in the US: Less Alcohol and Cigarettes, More Pot

Using data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health between 2002 and 2016, researchers sought to study changes in the use of alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis during pregnancy in a nationally representative sample of women aged 18 to 44 years. Of the 12,988 pregnant women in this cohort, only women aged 18 to 25 years (n?=?8170) or 26 to 44 years (n?=?3888) were included in the analyses. Of these 12,058 women, 3554 women...

Weekly Roundup for NOVEMBER 16, 2018: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Why do we need to identify and treat women with depression who experience during pregnancy? We have long known that postpartum depression can negatively affect the development of children, the large study from Tuovinen and colleagues clearly shows that depression during pregnancy can have negative effects on the child’s development, predicting lower scores on measures of developmental milestones, fine and gross motor skills, communication, problem solving, and personal/social skills. One of the primary reasons women...

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...