Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Archive | General

Probiotics for Postpartum Depression? Not There Yet

The role of the gut microbiome in mood disorders is an emerging, fascinating field in neuroscience and medicine. Numerous studies have shown that the gut microbiota (colonies of both “good” and “bad” bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract) are important in normal brain function. Furthermore, the status of this bacterial population can activate central nervous […]

Continue Reading · 0

In Brief: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Sleep in Perimenopausal Women

Peri- and post-menopausal women frequently complain of insomnia or poor sleep quality. Sleep disturbance is often attributed to nocturnal hot flashes; however, a sizeable proportion of menopausal women may have a primary sleep disorder.    As part of the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health network (MS-FLASH), randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were used […]

Continue Reading · 0

Higher Doses of Topiramate (Topamax) During Pregnancy, Increased Risk of Oral Clefts

Topiramate (TPM, marketed as Topamax) is an antiepileptic drug which is also used for migraine prophylaxis, weight loss, and, less commonly, as a mood stabilizer.  Over the last few years we have seen several studies suggesting an increased risk of oral clefts in infants exposed to topiramate during the first trimester of pregnancy.  A large […]

Continue Reading · 0

Higher Prepregnancy BMI Linked to Higher Rates of Maternal Morbidity

  In the United States, about half of all pregnant women are overweight or obese. A recent study indicates that higher prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) is associated with a higher risk of maternal morbidity.  In this study carried out in Washington State, 743,630 women were included. Prepregnancy BMI was distributed as follows: underweight, 3.2%; […]

Continue Reading · 0

Depression in Fathers Increases Risk for Adolescent Depression

According to a study published last year in the journal Pediatrics, adolescent depression is on the rise. In adolescents, the 12-month prevalence of major depression increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014.  Other studies have noted an increase in rates of suicide among adolescents, particularly girls; among girls aged 10-14, the suicide rate […]

Continue Reading · 0

New Research from the CWMH: Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Women Taking Second Generation Antipsychotics During Pregnancy

The use of the newer “atypical” or second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) agents continues to increase.  These medications are used to treat a spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, PTSD and anxiety disorders.  Although most of the women taking atypical antipsychotics are of childbearing age, our information on the reproductive safety of these […]

Continue Reading · 0

Examining the Association Between Anxiety Disorders and their Treatment in Pregnancy Outcomes

While numerous published studies have investigated the impact of treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD) in pregnancy on maternal and neonatal outcomes, few studies have examined the perinatal effects of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD). Despite the comorbidity of the two types of psychiatric disorders in women of […]

Continue Reading · 0

Father’s Involvement and Early Infant Neurodevelopment: The Mediating Role of Maternal Parenting Stress

It is fairly well-known that interactions between parents and children are associated with improved developmental outcomes in children.  Previous research has primarily focused on how maternal rather than paternal involvement influences infant neurodevelopment.  A recent study examines the direct and indirect relationships between paternal involvement and infant neurodevelopment, and how maternal parenting stress mediates this […]

Continue Reading · 0

Maternal Bipolar Disorder Not a Predictor of Infant Developmental Deficits at One Year of Age

  While some women with bipolar disorder elect to discontinue their psychotropic medications during pregnancy to mitigate fetal exposure, Viguera and colleagues (2000, 2007) found that women stabilized on lithium face a significant risk for relapse if they choose to discontinue treatment during pregnancy.  These treatment decisions are difficult and vary on a case-to-case basis, […]

Continue Reading · 2

In Brief: Folate Supplements During Pregnancy Reduce Risk of Autism  

Mothers exposed to household or agricultural pesticides immediately before and during their pregnancies have a higher risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  However, a recent study from California indicates that taking high-dose folic acid cuts this risk in half, as compared to women who received lower doses of folic acid.  In […]

Continue Reading · 0