WATCH 2011 Annual Meeting All-Access Right Here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Women's Mental Health at the APA

Shari I. Lusskin MD and C. Neill Epperson, MD

We are pleased to report that women's mental health topics are alive and well at the APA Annual meeting in New Orleans.

Neill and Natalie Rasgon, MD, played to a standing room only crowd at the crack of dawn (at least in New Orleans) on Sunday. Their workshop was entitled Mood Disorders in Women of Reproductive Age. After a concise review of the relationship between estrogen and mood across the lifespan, Natalie focused on depression during the perimenopause transition. She then shared her PET scan data on how estrogen effects brain metabolism in peri- and postmenopausal women. Neill followed with a lively discussion of the controversy surrounding the use of estrogen during the menopause. She shared her not- even-in-press-yet data from her fMRI research on the individual and interactive effects of estrogen and serotonin on brain activation in perimenopausal women using a working memory task paradigm.

Shari had the honor of teaching a course on Sunday afternoon with her fabulous colleagues from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Shaila Misri, MD, Diana Carter, MD, and Deirdre Ryan, MD. Now in it's almost 20th year, the course, Management Disorders in Pregnant and Postpartum Women, which was founded by Shaila, was sold out as usual. The audience included psychiatrists from as far North as St. Johns in Newfoundland, as far South as Sao Paolo, as far East as Bologna, Italy, and as far west as California. Several people have attended the course before but returned for the latest updates in perinatal psychiatry. New this year was an hour and fifteen minute question and answer period which was fascinating for all of us. As usual, we ourselves learned a tremendous amount as we heard about the clinical experiences of our audience members.

Kathy Wisner and Meg Spinelli gave a course on Sunday focusing on infant morbidity and mortality in women with perinatal psychiatric disorders.

On Tuesday, Neill has assembled a great panel for a symposium entitled "Mood, Memory, and Myths: What Really Happens at Menopause" (SO 84) from 2-5 PM. She will be joined by Ellen Freeman, PhD, Claudio Soares, MD, PhD, and Anita Clayton, MD. Join us for what is certain to be an informative, entertaining, and provocative traipse through the menopause life-experience.


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