Sarah Nagle-Yang, MD | University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Sandra Weiss, PhD, DNSc, FAAN | University of California San Francisco

Guidelines Aim to Help Perimenopausal Women Deal With Depression

The new guidance gives women and their doctors a “gold standard” of care during menopause transition.

US News and World Report | Nov. 2, 2018

“…NAMS paired with the National Network of Depression Centers, specifically the Women and Mood Disorders Task Force. “We thought it would be a wonderful partnership to bring together these experts to do these guidelines,” Maki says. First, the task force conducted a systematic review of all the literature. “We wanted practitioners and women to understand what we think the best approach is to this,” she explains.”

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.


Maternal Interaction With Infants Among Women at Elevated Risk for Postpartum Depression. Sherryl H. Goodman, Maria Muzik, Diana I. Simeonova, Sharon A. Kidd, Margaret Tresch Owen, Bruce Cooper, Christine Y. Kim, Katherine L. Rosenblum, Sandra J. Weiss. Frontiers in Psychology. March 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35310268/

Symptom profiles of women at risk of mood disorders: A latent class analysis. Sandra J. Weiss, Heather Flynn, Lisa Christian, Lisa Hantsoo, Teresa Lanzadi Scalea, Sara L.Kornfield, Maria Muzik, Diana I.Simeonova, Bruce A.Cooper, Anna Strahm, Kristina M. Deligiannidis. Journal of Affective Disorders. December 2021. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032721008119

Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Perimenopausal Depression: Summary and Recommendations. Pauline M. Maki, Susan G. Kornstein, Hadine Joffe, Joyce T. Bromberger, Ellen W. Freeman, Geena Athappilly, William V. Bobo, Leah H. Rubin, Hristina K. Koleva, Lee S. Cohen, Claudio N. Soares, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees for The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and the Women and Mood Disorders Task Force of the National Network of Depression Centers. February 2019. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jwh.2018.27099.mensocrec

A Collaborative, Network-Based Approach to Advance Women’s Depression Research in the United States: Preliminary Findings. Heather A. Flynn, Catherine Spino, Constance Guille, Kristina M. Deligiannidis, Pauline Maki, Jordan Jahnke, Katherine L. Rosenblum, C. Neill Epperson, and Sandra J. Weiss. Journal of Women’s Health. January 2018. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2016.6261

Anxiety and physical health problems increase the odds of women having more severe symptoms of depression. Sandra J. Weiss, Diana I. Simeonova, Mary C. Kimmel, Cynthia L. Battle, Pauline M. Maki, Heather A. Flynn. Journal of Women’s Health. June 2016. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26403982/

Relation between place of residence and postpartum depression. Simone N. VigodLesley A. TarasoffBarbara BryjaCindy-Lee DennisMark H. Yudin and Lori E. Ross. Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2013). http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/08/06/cmaj.122028.short

Cognition and mood in perimenopause: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Miriam T. Weber, Pauline M. Maki, Michael P. McDermott. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2013). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770320

The relationship between hormonal profile and depressive symptoms in menopausal women. Alpay, N., Kıvanç, Z. E., & Ulaşoğlu, C. Düşünen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences, 26(2). (2013). http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=40581


Researchers from our current member institutions should contact Jennifer Taylor, Program Manager ([email protected]), for more information about being added to the task group.

We are not accepting non-affiliated researchers at this time to our Task Groups. We do, however, encourage researchers who are not from our member institutions to talk to their current institutional leadership about becoming a member of our Network. More information about joining the NNDC can be found on our membership opportunities page: https://nndc.org/membership/