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Each episode of AJP Audio brings you an in-depth look at one of the articles featured in that month’s issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Wide-ranging interviews with article authors cover the background, rationale, main findings, and future implications of the research.

Aug 1, 2020

Executive Editor Michael Roy speaks with Jennifer Dwyer, M.D., Ph.D., and Awais Aftab, M.D., about the physiology of three major endocrine systems and about the evidence for hormone-based interventions in the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Dr. Dwyer is an assistant professor at Yale University, where she is affiliated with the Child Study Center and the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Aftab is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. He is also an attending psychiatrist at Northcoast Behavioral HealthCare Hospital.

  • Why are effective treatments for major depressive disorder lacking? [2:22]
  • Why have hormones been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depression? [4:28]
  • Three particular parts of the hormonal system that have been linked to alterations in mood [7:05]
  • The role of the HPA axis in major depression [8:44]
  • The role of the HPT axis in major depression [11:39]
  • The role of the HPG axis in major depression, and differences between men and women [19:42]
  • The efficacy, or drawbacks, of different kinds of hormonal interventions to treat depression [31:15]
  • Overall conclusions as to the utility of hormonal treatments for major depression [39:04]
  • The main messages that researchers, clinicians, and other mental health professionals should take away from the article [40:22]
  • Recommendations for further research in this area [41:32]

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