Psychiatric Illness in Women: Emerging Treatments and Research

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Freda Lewis-Hall, Teresa S. Williams, Jill A. Panetta, John M. Herrera
American Psychiatric Pub, Aug 13, 2008 - Medical - 680 pages
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For most of its history, medicine has been male oriented. Doctors, research subjects, and patients were nearly all men, and medication dosages were considered to be "one size fits all.

That orientation has changed dramatically. The medical profession now recognizes that women's physiology is different and realizes that women's health is one of its leading issues.

Our relatively recent efforts to understand sex differences in the onset, presentation, course, and treatment of mental illnesses are yielding sometimes striking results. Why is schizophrenia so much more common in men, and why does it have an earlier onset and a more malignant course? Do estrogens protect against schizophrenia? Why do women have higher rates of mood disorders and increasing rates of substance abuse?

Representing the work of 60 distinguished contributors, this comprehensive summary answers these and many other questions concerning the psychological and pharmacological treatment of psychiatric illnesses in women, including useful information about recent developments in psychopharmacology, physiology, course and manifestation, and the interaction between social and biological factors. This eye-opening book is divided into five parts: Anxiety disorders and other related disorders -- Panic, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse disorder associated with PTSD, featuring research that continues to uncover promising hypotheses to explain gender differences in prevalence and treatment rates

Major depressive disorder and related disorders -- The role of women's reproductive cycle in precipitating or exacerbating mood instability; psychopharmacology of antidepressants; effects of hormones (especially estrogen); sex differences in brain structure and function; and pharmacokinetic differences in rates of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination

Schizophrenia and related disorders -- Origins and progression; neurocognition and symptom expression, with the central role of gonadal hormones; the effect of estrogen (menopause coincides with worsening symptoms); neuroleptic-induced hyperprolactinemia; quality-of-life considerations and systems of care; and schizophrenia's impact on the family in our post-institutionalization age

Dementia and related disorders -- Overview of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research from the National Institute on Aging, recent clinical trials that suggest the treatment efficacy of estrogen replacement, the central role of gonadal steroids in preventing and treating AD, and the challenges faced by women caregivers

Other psychiatric illnesses and special topics -- Epidemiology of substance abuse disorders, victimization, and PTSD; dissociative disorders (by far more prevalent in women than men); factors in the pathogenesis of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; treatment challenges during pregnancy; and women, ethnicity, and psychopharmacology

Clinicians and laypersons alike will welcome this clearly written, definitive guide on the most recent developments in our understanding of the major differences in the brain anatomy, physiology, and epidemiology of psychiatric illnesses between women and men.


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Major Depressive Disorder and Related Disorders
Schizophrenia and Related Disorders
Dementia and Related Disorders
Other Psychiatric Illnesses and Special Topics
Concluding Remarks

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About the author (2008)

Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., is Team Leader of the Primary Care Product Team at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana.

John M. Herrera, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Jill A. Panetta, Ph.D., is Chief Scientific Officer at InnoCentive in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Teresa S. Williams, B.Sc., is a Clinical Development Associate at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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