Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hypnotherapy for Hot Flashes

Peri- and post-menopausal women have various options for the management of hot flashes, including hormone replacement therapy, SSRIs, and gabapentin. It looks as if hypnosis may also be helpful.  In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned postmenopausal women to hypnotherapy or "structured attention," which was used as a control intervention.

Facilitating Smoking Cessation in Pregnant Women: An Innovative Web-Based Training for Healthcare Professionals

Women who smoke during pregnancy are at greater risk for certain complications, including placental previa, placental abruption, and premature rupture of the membranes, and premature delivery.  Furthermore, infants of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to be small for gestational age and are at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Depression in Fathers: Toward a Better Understanding of Its Impact on the Child

While much research has demonstrated that maternal depression may negatively affect the child, leading to increased risk of developmental delays, behavioral problems, and psychiatric illness. Less research, however, has detailed the impact of paternal depression; several recent studies have focused on better understanding the risk factors for paternal depression and how paternal depression affects children.

Extended Release Gabapentin (Neurontin) for Hot Flashes

Several studies have shown that gabapentin (Neurontin) at 600-2400 mg/day in divided doses is effective for treating hot flashes in menopausal women.  Research presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) indicates that an investigational extended release (ER) formulation of gabapentin (Serada, Depomed) is effective for the treatment of hot flashes and sleep disturbance.

Childhood Abuse: A Risk Factor for Bonding and Parenting Difficulties

Multiple studies have demonstrated that childhood maltreatment is associated with subsequent difficulties.  Researchers from the University of Michigan assessed parenting behaviors in women with a history of childhood abuse and neglect (n?=?97) and a healthy control comparison group (n?=?53).  Participants were assessed at 6 weeks, 4 months, and 6 months postpartum. At 6 months, a home visit was conducted and  mothers and infants participated in a dyadic play interaction later coded for positive parenting behaviors by blinded raters.

Screening for Perinatal Depression: What Can We Learn From Australia?

In 2009, the Australian government launched the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) in order “to improve the prevention and early detection of antenatal and postnatal depression and to provide better support and treatment for expectant and new mothers experiencing depression.” Its scope is very much like the MOTHERS Act, which became law in the United States in 2010. Both initiatives seek to increase public awareness of perinatal depression, to provide support and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with depression, to fund research in this area, and to implement training of health care professionals. 

Low Dose Paroxetine for the Treatment of Hot Flashes

For decades, estrogen has been used to treat menopausal symptoms, including night sweats and hot flashes.  However, after studies reported that estrogen increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, many patients and clinicians have looked into alternative treatments for hot flashes, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

CBT for Depression During Pregnancy Improves Mothers’ Attentiveness to Her Infant

During pregnancy, a woman develops increasing sensitivity and responsiveness to infants’ distress.  If depression during pregnancy occurs, this process may be disrupted.  Various studies are shown that women with depression are less responsive to an infant’s distress.  The major concern is that this diminished responsiveness may persist as long as one year after the child is born, and when it persists, it may negatively affect the child.  Decreased responsiveness of the mother to the infant’s cues may lead to emotional, cognitive and developmental problems in the child later on.

Childhood Somatic Symptoms May Be Related to Early Exposure to Maternal Depression or Anxiety

About 10-30% of children have functional somatic symptoms (FSS).  These are physical complaints, such as headaches, pain, fatigue, and dizziness, that cannot be explained medically. A new study suggests that when a child is exposed to depression or anxiety in the mother during the first year of life, he or she is more likely to report these somatic symptoms later on.