Antidepressants for depression in pregnancy: new systematic review says the jury’s still out

Nikki Newhouse summarises a recent US health technology assessment of antidepressants for depression in pregnancy and the postpartum period, which concludes that the evidence remains inconclusive about the benefits and harms of antidepressants for depression in pregnancy.

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Children of older fathers have an increased risk of psychiatric and academic problems, says new cohort study

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Research suggests that the risk of developing psychiatric problems (such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or schizophrenia) may be linked to increased paternal age at the time of conception. This seems quite plausible given that advancing age in men is associated with increased genetic mutations in sperm. However, studies so far have generally not [read the full story...]

Maternal depression may be associated with offspring obesity, according to systematic review

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Maternal depression is a serious mental health condition and does not only affect the mental health of the mother, but also the physical health of her children. One meta-analysis found that up to 19% of women in developed countries experienced an episode of depression in the 3-month prenatal period (Gavin et al., 2005). More specifically, [read the full story...]

Systematic review identifies key parenting factors associated with adolescent depression and anxiety

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Parenting is a tough gig. As a mum of three, I can honestly say that nothing in my everyday professional life comes close to the trials and tribulations of guiding small people through toddlerhood and beyond. Parenting advice comes thick and fast from all corners, most of it unsolicited, some of it anecdotal, much of [read the full story...]

Treating antenatal depression could prevent offspring adult depression

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Depression in late adolescence is a major public health concern, not least because it is strongly predictive of persistent, adult depression, which can have a severe effect on socioemotional functioning, education and employment. Increasingly, depression research is turning its attention to the matter of prevention of depression rather than exclusively focusing on treatment options and [read the full story...]

Cohort study links early exposure to intimate partner violence with poor mental health outcomes, but longer follow-up is needed

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Negative childhood experiences have always been a big topic in psychology and psychiatry, as they tend to be associated with poor mental health outcomes in later life. Intimate partner violence (IPV) harms not only the adults directly involved in it, but also the children – witnessing IPV as a child is a known risk factor [read the full story...]

CBT may prevent depression in at-risk children whose parents have a history of depression

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The harmful impact of depression extends far beyond the individual sufferer to caregivers, friends and family members.  Children of people with depression are more likely to suffer from depression themselves.  This may be due to both inherited and environmental factors. This new randomised controlled trial (RCT), published earlier this week in JAMA Psychiatry, set out [read the full story...]

Barriers to parenting programmes for children with behavioural problems: recommendations from parents and professionals

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Disruptive behaviour problems (DPB) such as conduct problems or being oppositional and defiant affect a large proportion of young children. Many of these early behavioural problems predict negative outcomes such as underachieving at schools, future unemployment and criminal behaviour. Treatment of DPBs often begins during the school years once the condition is well-established, and when [read the full story...]

Missing you Mum: mothers who bring their babies to emergency departments often have undetected post-natal depression

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While depression is the leading cause of disability for both males and females, the burden of depression is 50% higher for females. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2008). Research has shown that women with unidentified and untreated maternal depression [read the full story...]