Monthly Archives: February 2014

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a Treatment for Refractory Depression

As many as 30% of people suffering from depression do not respond to antidepressant treatment1. When treatment options are exhausted psychiatrists often turn to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  An electric current is used to cause a brief seizure in the brain. Although this is a relatively safe method of treatment, impairments of both cognition and memory are potential side effects2.

By |2014-02-27T18:26:11-04:00February 27th, 2014|General|0 Comments

Understanding the Heterogeneity of Perinatal Depression

Most studies evaluating the prevalence of perinatal depression are cross-sectional, meaning that depressive symptoms are measured at a single point in time.  Less information is available regarding the trajectory of perinatal depression.  In obstetric populations, it seems that there are women with briefer episodes of milder postpartum depressive symptoms, while others have more persistent and debilitating depressive symptoms after childbirth.  Other women experience depression during pregnancy.  Several studies suggest that there is considerable heterogeneity among women who experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Good News: New Studies Show No Association Between Antidepressants and Risk of Autism

Two recent epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an association between prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; Croen et al 2011, Rai et al, 2013).  One important imitation of these two studies is that parental psychiatric disorder in itself is associated with an increased risk of ASD in the offspring, and these studies could not distinguish between the effects of drug exposure and the consequences of the underlying maternal psychiatric illness.  Two new studies shed light on the association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk of autism spectrum disorder in the offspring.