• major depressive disorder

    Perimenopausal Depression in Women with More Variable Levels of Estradiol and Lower Progesterone Levels

    Women are at increased risk for depressive symptoms during the menopause transition.  It has long been suspected that falling estrogen levels play a role in triggering the onset of depression; however, if all women experience [...]

    Intergenerational Transmission of Depression: Telomere Shortening and Cortisol Reactivity in Girls at High Risk for Depression

    In every cell, genetic material is contained within the double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. Every time a cell divides, the chromosomes are copied so that each new cell gets a copy of this genetic material.  However, the process isn’t perfect – a little bit of the end of the chromosome is lost each time so the copy is not a perfect reproduction. To prevent important genetic material from being lost, the cell protects itself with structures called telomeres located at the ends of the chromosomes. Telomeres are repeating DNA sequences and proteins that act like a guard so that when the chromosome is copied, the important material is protected and only the telomere is shortened. Since telomere shortening happens every time the cell divides, telomeres act like biological clocks for the cell. When the chromosome has been copied enough times that the telomere has been completely worn away, any future copies of the chromosome may be missing important genetic material and the cell may cease to function normally.

    New Research from the CWMH: CBT to Reduce Risk of Relapse in Women Attempting to Discontinue Antidepressants

    Pregnancy is a time of risk for women with histories of major depression. In a study where 201 women with histories of recurrent depression were followed prospectively through pregnancy, 43% experienced a relapse of major depression during pregnancy. Relapse rates were highest in the group of women who elected to discontinue antidepressant treatment proximate to conception (68% as compared to 26% in the group of women who maintained antidepressant treatment).

    Does Estrogen Affect Antidepressant Efficacy? Data from the STAR*D Study

    We previously reported on studies suggesting estrogen may be helpful for the treatment of depression in peri- and post-menopausal women, either alone or in combination with an antidepressant.  In addition, other studies have suggested that older, postmenopausal women may respond more poorly to antidepressants than premenopausal women. Two recent studies attempt to better understand the impact of reproductive hormones on clinical presentation and treatment response of depression in women.

    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.

    What Would You Do? A Pregnant Women on Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

    Ms. A is a 27-year-old woman who is seven weeks pregnant and is currently taking duloxetine (Cymbalta).  She has a history of recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) and has had a good response to duloxetine at 60 mg per day.  She has had four previous episodes of major depressive disorder (most untreated) and has been in remission for one year.  Past episodes have lasted up to six months and caused difficulty with functioning at work and in relationships, although she was not diagnosed and treated until one year ago. 

    Go to Top