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Archive for the ‘Women Issues’ Category

The Houston Chronicle (5/20, Morgan, http://tinyurl.com/ADD-Women) reported that Deborah A. Pearson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston said there are least 4 million American women with ADD/ADHD, but research focuses heavily on children, so it’s hard to pinpoint how many women are affected.  But at least one-third of children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD will continue to have significant symptoms into adulthood, Pearson said.  On top of that, little girls aren’t always diagnosed at as early an age as boys, since they display different symptoms.  “That little whirling dervish of a boy is being diagnosed in kindergarten or first grade,” Pearson said. “But a little girl, she’s daydreaming. She’s not causing trouble for the teacher, she’s not causing trouble at home. She carries on, until her academic achievement is affected.”  In adulthood, men with ADD/ADHD tend to have more problems related to hyperactivity, whereas women tend to have more problems related to attention deficit — which is why Pearson often diagnoses women of college age.  “Families structure teenagers all the way through high school,” Pearson said. “Then they get to college, they lose the structure their parents provided, and they’re at loose ends.”  “They’re in for an evaluation of their child, and they’re sitting there saying ‘that sounds just like me,’” Pearson said.  “There’s a very strong genetic component in ADHD.  It does run in families.  Dianne W. Appolito, LCSW and director of Stone Creek Psychotherapy and Wellness Center in Katy, said women can be successfully treated for ADD/ADHD with medication and counseling.  Accepting the diagnosis and “reframing the awareness of how their brain works” is the first step, Appolito said. 

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postpartum_depressionSharma et al published an article online Oct. 17 in the Journal of Affective Disorder(doi:10.1016/j.jad.2009.09.014) discussing the fact that bipolar II disorder may be underdiagnosed in postpartum women or misdiagnosed as unipolar depression.  After conducting a literature search “for relevant articles published between 1998 and 2009,” Canadian researchers found that “estimates of the prevalence of hypomania in non-clinical populations ranged from 9.6 percent to 20.4 percent on day three postpartum.” Moreover, nearly “20 percent of patients with hypomanic symptoms at day three postpartum developed postpartum depression in one study, with a significant proportion diagnosed with bipolar II disorder or bipolar disorder not otherwise specified.”

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flu vaccineThe Los Angeles Times (http://tinyurl.com/flushotanddepression 10/28, Maugh) “Booster Shots” blog reported that, according to a study published Oct. 28 in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, “depressed pregnant women respond more strongly to the seasonal flu vaccine, producing higher levels of potentially damaging cytokines — a finding that could help explain why pregnant women have about six times the normal risk of hospitalization and complications from pandemic H1N1 influenza.” Ohio State University researchers recruited “22 pregnant women” who “filled out a questionnaire about their depression symptoms and gave a blood sample before being immunized against seasonal flu,” then gave “a second blood sample…six to nine days later.”   The investigators then discovered that “women who scored highest on the depression scale had roughly twice as much” macrophage migration inhibitory factor “in their blood as women who scored the lowest, meaning their bodies mounted a greater inflammatory response to the vaccine,” the Time (10/28, Guthrie) “Wellness” blog reported. The authors explained that depression and pregnancy deliver “a one-two punch to the immune system,” because pregnancy dampens the “immune system to protect the fetus,” and “major depression hobbles the immune system by putting chronic, low-grade stress on the body.”

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Following a  story,  (5/6, McKeever) reported that, according to a study http://tinyurl.com/sleepless-infants published May 1 in the journal Sleep, “women battling depression when their children are born are more likely to have infants with significant sleep issues and who run a higher risk of having early-onset depression during childhood.” For the study, researchers from the University of Michigan “monitored the sleep of 18 full-term born children and their mothers for periods of seven consecutive days once a month” over the course of “six months starting at two weeks following birth.” The team found that “babies born to depressed mothersbaby_clipart_5_rr20 took longer to fall asleep at night, slept in shorter bursts, and less soundly than infants born to mothers not experiencing depression.” Previous studies have indicated that “if infant sleep problems are not addressed, they can become long-term issues that can affect not only the child’s mental and physical health, but also the mother’s” if the “child’s sleep issues also cause her to lose valuable rest time.”

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HealthDay (3/27, McKeever) reported that, according to a study published in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, college women may not “need to drink to excess to impress college men.” For the study, researchers from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles “surveyed 3,616 college students about women’s drinking habits and men’s views of drinking by women.” The team found that the majority “of the women overestimated, by an average of a drink-and-a-half, how much men would like them to drink at any given event.” Specifically, nearly “26 percent said they thought men would most likely want to be friends with a woman who drinks five or more drinks, and 16 percent said women who drank the most attracted men sexually.” In reality, “both estimates were twice what the men said they actually preferred.” The authors are now undertaking a follow-up study “to determine how men think women view male drinking habits.”

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