Monthly Archives: March 2009

Screening for Metabolic Side Effects of Atypical Antipsychotics

Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly used to treat psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.  In spite of the important role they play for many patients in treating serious psychiatric disorders, atypicals have been associated with negative side effects that may worsen a patient's cardiovascular health profile.  This includes a greater risk for weight gain, glucose dysregulation/diabetes, and dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides/cholesterol).

Antenatal Use of SSRIs and QT Interval Prolongation in Newborns

Over the last several years, a number of studies have indicated that exposure to antidepressants near the time of delivery may be associated with poor neonatal outcomes. A recent prospective study from Dubnov-Raz and colleagues published in the journal Pediatrics found an association between QTc interval prolongation in neonates and antenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.  The QT interval is a measurement of the heart's electrical cycle from ventricular depolarization to the end of ventricular polarization.  It is determined from an electrocardiogram (ECG) and is corrected for heart rate. 

We want to hear from you!

We invite your comments as we post more cases and clinical scenarios to our blog.  Treatment decisions in the field of women's mental health are often not straightforward, and we would like to encourage discussion among clinicians on these issues.  You are welcome to leave your name, but comments may also be submitted anonymously.  Please keep in mind that all comments are reviewed by our staff prior to being posted on the blog; unfortunately we can not respond to any individual health inquiries on the blog or through our website.

By |2015-08-12T14:10:59-04:00March 20th, 2009|General|3 Comments

A Mouse Model of Postpartum Depression

Maguire and Mody's report, GABAA R Plasticity during Pregnancy: Relevance to Postpartum Depression, in the July 2008, Neuron, provides evidence that an abnormal Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor subunit in pregnant mice may be a useful model for postpartum depression.  The report describes how GABAA receptors, specifically, the delta-subunit-containing GABA receptor, are a preferred target for neurosteroids.  They designed a study to identify functional changes in these receptors during pregnancy and postpartum and then looked at possible behavioral correlates in the mice. 

Case: Prevention of Mood Episodes When Planning for Pregnancy

Our Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry team often discusses clinical cases in Rounds, a confidential forum in which we can get advice and consultation from peers who also work in the area of Women's Mental Health.  We discussed a patient's situation recently that highlighted the controversial area about how to prevent mood episodes in a woman planning for pregnancy.