Antidepressant use in early pregnancy does not increase risk of autism, ADHD in kids, IU study finds

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU Bloomington reached out to IU Communications March 2 about an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found no evidence for increased risk of Autism or ADHD in the children of mothers who used antidepressants during pregnancy, a major departure from previous research on the subject.

Brian D'Onofrio

Brian D’Onofrio

After meeting with the authors of the study, led by IU Professor Brian D’Onofrio, IU Communications produced a news release on the research as well as an FAQ to provide additional context to reporters and the public. IU Communications also provided general interview tips to the authors and worked to coordinate with JAMA.

IU’s news release on the study was posted under embargo on EurekAlert at 8 a.m. April 17, and distributed publicly on April 18. JAMA also put out an announcement under embargo several days prior to publication that highlighted two studies with similar findings about antidepressant use during pregnancy, including the IU-led study.

The story earned strong media pickup, including coverage in TIME Magazine, The Washington Post and CBS Evening News. The CBS report was also carried on the CBS News This Morning and CBSN, the network’s 24-hour live online news station.

Other outlets to pick up the news release included

International outlets to carry the news included CTV News (Canada), The Daily Mail (United Kingdom), ABC (Spain), La Parisien and Yahoo News France (France), MSN Sweden (Sweden) and The Express Tribune (Pakistan). Lifestyle websites to carry the story included New York Magazine’s The Science of Us, TIME Magazine’s MOTTO, Fit Pregnancy and Mom.Me.

IU Communications coordinated D’Onofrio’s on-camera appearance with CBS News through its partnership with IU-Radio/Television Services and the School of International and Global Studies, which houses a professional-grade studio capable of HD transmission to television networks worldwide.

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