Partnership with endocrinology recommended for mental health issues associated with polycystic ovary syndrome


The use of case studies to illustrate learning and to improve clinical practice is an established method. This case study of a woman with learning disabilities presenting with polycystic ovary syndrome is presented by the authors to explore mental health symptoms associated with the condition.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects the ovaries causing them to become bigger than average and affects ovulation and fertility.  Mental health problems,have been associated with the syndrome.

The authors suggest that the findings from the case study case suggest a number of issues that are encountered in clinical practice when diagnosing and managing an individual with mental and physical health issues where there are underlying issues of family dynamics and insecure attachment.

They make a number of treatment recommendations, in particular the need for joint working with endocrinologists. They describe the use of Metformin, an oral diabetes medicine used to help control blood sugar levelsand suggest the need to consider an association with hormonal changes, especially where patients show changing severity of psychosis and poor response to psychiatric medication.

They recommend that a

multimodal intervention package needs to be considered for optimum benefit.

Psychosis in polycystic ovary syndrome – dilemmas in management, Gumber R et al., in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 6 Iss: 2, pp.82 – 88

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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