Women & Mood Disorders
Heather A. Flynn, PhD - University of Michigan & Florida State University
Sandra J. Weiss, PhD, DNSc, FAAN - University of California San Francisco
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from mood disorders, with nearly one-quarter of all women experiencing depression at some point in their lives. The Women and Mood Disorders Task Group was formed to employ evidence-based research methods to better understand and address the unique biological and psychological issues impacting women at key life stages including pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, and to determine best practices for treatment.
Established in 2009, the Task Group is a “network within a network,” comprised of 40 members from 21 academic institutions. The Task Group seeks to capitalize on the strengths of a collaborative network by bringing together researchers, clinicians and staff from NNDC Centers of Excellence to impact the prevalence and burden of depression in women across the lifespan, and to better understand the different ways men and women experience mood disorders.
The main priority of the Women and Mood Disorders Task Group is to promote collaborative research, education and clinical care focused on women with mood disorders. The Task Group takes a broad, multi-faceted approach, and includes faculty who specialize in women-focused research.
The Women and Mood Disorders Pooled Dataset Project is a cornerstone of the Task Group’s efforts to improve clinical care through the power of research. Launched in 2009, the Pooled Dataset Project is a subgroup within the Task Group, encompassing eight academic institutions and 16 individual databases, totaling over 30,000 research participants. Its goal is to determine disparities in prevalence, course, and treatment use. The project was formed as an “early win” priority, generating interest and enthusiasm from members. An NIH grant proposal, still pending, was submitted in August of 2010, and has received a favorable score.