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    Research Study at CWMH: Bipolar Disorder in Pregnancy

    Are you an expectant mother? Do you have questions about bipolar disorder and antidepressants or mood-stabilizers during pregnancy? If you are pregnant and diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or manic depression), you may be eligible for this research study. Participants meet with research coordinators and psychiatrists who specialize in bipolar illness during pregnancy. For more information about this study, please contact Rachel at (617) 726-2912 or rvanderkruik@partners.org.

    Menstrual Cycle Irregularity in Women with Bipolar Disorder

    Preliminary reports have suggested that menstrual irregularity may occur more commonly in women with mood disorders than in the general population. What has been unclear, however, is whether these menstrual cycle irregularities reflect an underlying disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in women with mood disorders or are caused by the psychotropic medications used to treat these psychiatric disorders.In a recent study, Dr. Hadine Joffe of the Center for Women’s Mental Health and her colleagues assessed the prevalence of menstrual cycle dysfunction in 3 groups of women: (1) with bipolar disorder, (2) with unipolar depression, or (3) with no psychiatric illness (Joffe 2006).

    By |2015-07-28T09:54:19-04:00April 24th, 2006|PMS and PMDD|

    Anticonvulsants During Pregnancy in Women with Bipolar Disorder

    Unfortunately the mood stabilizers most commonly used to treat bipolar disorder (including lithium and valproic acid) can increase the risk of certain types of congenital malformations in children exposed to these medications during the first trimester of pregnancy. For women who need a mood stabilizer during pregnancy, lithium is the safest option; however, when used during the first trimester, it carries a 0.1% risk of a cardiac malformation called Ebstein's anomaly. Although this is a potentially serious complication, it is important to keep in mind that the risk of malformation is relatively small.

    Using the WHIPLASHED Mnemonic to Distinguish Unipolar from Bipolar Depression

    Women with bipolar disorder (BD) are at extremely high risk for postpartum psychiatric illness, including postpartum psychosis.  While the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology now recommends that all women be screened for depression [...]

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