-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Successful treatment of
major depression in mothers also leads to improved mental health
for their children, according to a new study.
Children of parents with major depression are at increased risk
of being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.
This study included 80 women with depression and their children
ages 7 to 17. The mothers were enrolled in a U.S. National
Institute of Mental Health trial designed to help patients with
depression who didn't respond to the first, second or even third
The researchers found that the children of women with early
remission showed improvement in both mother- and child-reported
symptoms of psychiatric disorders and in overall psychosocial
functioning at home and at school. Children of mothers whose
depression took longer to go into remission showed improvement in
several of the symptom measurements, but not in functioning.
Children of mothers whose depression did not respond to
treatment over two years showed no improvement in symptoms of
psychiatric disorders and had an increase in outward-directed
symptoms, such as disruptive behaviors.
The findings appear March 15 online in the
American Journal of Psychiatry.
"This study shows that [depression] remission, even after several months of treatment, can have major positive effects not only for the patient but also for her children," researcher Myrna Weissman said in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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