Women's Mental Health: current projects

 

Double-Blind randomised investigation of Tibolone as an adjunct to standard antidepressant treatment for relapsed and persistent depression in peri- and post-menopausal women 

Aim: To examine the efficacy of a tissue-selective hormone treatment for menopausal depression.

Participants: Women between the ages of 45 and 65 years of age who have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (Major Depression) or are currently experiencing depressive symptoms that have relapsed during peri or post menopause.  

Method: This is 12 week randomised controlled trial where participants will be randomly allocated to one of two study groups where they will receive either; 1) tibolone or 2) placebo daily. Researchers from the Women's Mental Health team will speak with participants fortnightly (over the phone) then monthly throughout the treatment trial to monitor how they are progressing.

Project status: Currently recruiting

Researchers: Emmy Gavrilidis  

Contact information: For more information, please contact Emmy Gavrilidis on emmy.gavrilidis@monash.edu or 9076 6913 

 

Metformin for Mind and Metabolism

Aims: To determine whether metformin improves mood, improves cognition and causes weight loss in women and men with co-morbid treatment resistant depression and abdominal obesity.

Participants: Men and women aged 18-65 with major depressive disorder who are taking an antidepressant and still experiencing some depressive symptoms, and also have abdominal obesity.

Method: This is a 12 week randomised control trial. Participants will be randomly allocated to receive either 2000mg/day metformin or placebo. Participants will be assessed by a study researcher every four weeks to monitor depressive symptoms and weight, and cognition will be assessed initially and at conclusion of the trial. Unwanted side effects will also be monitored for. 

Project status: Currently recruiting

Researchers: Roisin Worsely, Chen Chen Bian (student researcher) 

Contact information: For more information, please contact Chen Chen bian on evelyn.bian@monash.edu or 9076 6564

 

Understanding factors that increase the risk of anxiety in peri-menopausal women 

Aims: To investigate associating factors that increase the risk of developing anxiety during peri-menopause by comparing questionnaires that will be completed by two groups of peri-menopausal women (patient group with anxiety during peri-menopause and control group with no anxiety).

Participants: Women between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age who have identified themselves as having anxiety disorders OR who do not have anxiety disorders. 

Method: This is a cross-sectional observational trial with Australian women to understand the factors that increase the risk of a women experiencing anxiety during peri-menopause. We will compare two groups: women who have anxiety during peri-menopause (patient group) and women who are peri-menopausal but not experiencing anxiety (control group). Both groups will be asked to complete a series of questions regarding their psychological distress, symptoms of menopause, life event, childhood trauma, sleep pattern and coping strategies. 

Project status: This study is currently waiting for ethics approval.

Researchers: Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Emmy Gavrilidis, Stuart Lee, Anthony de Castella, Roisin Worsley, Vivian Monitto

Contact information: For more information, please contact Vivian Monitto on vivian.monitto@monash.edu or phone 9076 5031 

 

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder and the Role of Memantine

 
Aims: To analyse the relationship between early life traumatic events and the expression of borderline personality disorder. The second part of the study aims to examine the efficacy of a cognitive enhancing agent, memantine, in improving symptoms of borderline personality disorder.
 
Participants: Women and men aged 18-35 with symptoms consistent with borderline personality disorder 
 
Method: Participants will complete screening questionnaires that include a diagnostic test and questions regarding early trauma experience. Participants may then choose to enter an 8-week randomised control trial in which they will be assigned to take either 1) memantine 10<20mg/day or 2) placebo. Researchers will meet with participants fortnightly to monitor their progress.
 
Project status: Currently recruiting
 
Researchers: Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Ms Emmy Gavridilis, Dr Jasmin Grigg, Ms Lucinda Miller
 
Contact information: For more information, please contact Lucinda Miller via email lucy.miller@monash.edu or phone (03)9076 5031.

 

 

Progesterone-only classes of Contraception and Mood: is there a relationship?

Aims: To investigate whether the mood of women who are currently using progesterone-only contraceptive medication differs to the mood of women not using this medication and to explore some of the factors that might explain any differences. We are particularly interested in observing whether progesterone lies at the core of a depressive response to contraceptive medication use.

Participants: Women aged 18 and over, who are currently taking a Progesterone-only contraceptive in oral or non-oral forms such as implants, injectables and intra-uterine devices that have not been diagnosed with clinical depression. Common progesterone contraceptives include Micronor, Implanon, Depo-Provera and Mirena.

Method: This is an observational study with Australian women. Women who currently take progesterone-only contraceptives will be asked to complete a series of mood and menstrual health questionnaires through an online link, or attend an interview that will either be face-to-face or over the telephone, at a time convenient for them.

Project status: Alfred ethics approval has been obtained

Researchers: Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Mr Anthony de Castella, Dr Caroline Gurvich, Dr Roisin Worsley, Ms Emmy Gavrilidis, Ms Marija Ugrcic

Contact information: For more information, please contact Marija Ugrcic on mugr1@student.monash.edu or phone 9076 5031 

 

Pregnancy and infant developmental outcomes following maternal exposure to mood stabilisers: a case-match study

Aim: to investigate the effects of mood stabiliser use during pregnancy on infant development at 12 months.

Participants: women with bipolar or schizoaffective disorder who took either a combination of mood stabiliser and an antipsychotic during pregnancy (group 1) or only took a second generation antipsychotic (group 2).

Method: this is a case-match study where groups are matched using diagnosis. A group of 20 women who took a mood stabiliser and an antipsychotic during pregnancy will be compared to a group of 20 women who only took second generation antipsychotic during pregnancy. The results of the pregnancy and the development of the baby until 12 months old will be looked at. All data has been collected by the National Register of Antipsychotic Medications in Pregnancy (NRAMP).

Project status: Alfred ethics approval has been obtained

Researchers: Emmy Gavrilidis, Karin Utami and Heather Gilbert

Contact information: for more information, please contact Emmy Gavrilidis on emmy.gavrilidis@monash.edu or 9076 6913

 

 MAPrc Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

 © MAPrc 2013. Designed and hosted by Infoxchange Australia