Recent Posts

Weekly Roundup for MARCH 22, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

The excitement over the FDA approval of brexanolone (to be marketed as Zulresso) is a good place to start this week’s roundup.  Brexanolone is a derivative of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone, and, while Zulpresso was approved specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression, there is considerable research to indicate that the modulation of neurosteroid systems may be another mechanism for treating depression and may lead to the development of a new class of antidepressants.  While all...

Perinatal Depression: How Do We Define High Risk? (Part 2)

Several weeks ago, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued recommendations that all pregnant and postpartum women should be evaluated in order to determine risk for depressive illness and suggests that women at increased risk should be referred for counseling.  The hope is that if we can identify the women at highest risk for depressive illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period, then we can introduce an opportunity to prevent depression in this setting....

Dr. Marlene Freeman: MDedge Masterclass on Treating Bipolar Disorder in Women

In this podcast, Dr. Freeman discusses some of the challenges in treating with bipolar disorder during pregnancy and shares preliminary data on the impact of exposure to atypical antipsychotics from the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications at Massachusetts General Hospital. Masterclass: Marlene Freeman on Treating Bipolar Disorder in Women

FDA is Expected to Approve Brexanolone for the Treatment of 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. It is expected that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon approve brexanolone as an intravenous infusion for the treatment...

Weekly Roundup for MARCH 8, 2019: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

This week another study highlights the importance of prenatal vitamins in reducing the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  This study from Schmidt and colleagues focused on high-risk families. In these families, one child had already been diagnosed with ASD.  The risk of having a child with ASD in subsequent children was cut in half in women who took prenatal vitamins during the first month of pregnancy.  Prenatal vitamins must be used early in the...

Timing of Postpartum Depression Onset May Predict Symptom Pattern

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common and complicated illness, affecting about 15% of women in the perinatal period. Recent research from the PACT consortium (Postpartum Depression: Action Toward Causes and Treatment) has sought to classify the many potential subtypes of this heterogenous illness and has found emerging differences in time of onset, severity, comorbid anxiety, and suicidal ideation. This previous research utilizing PACT data suggested that three distinct subtypes of PPD could be distinguished based...