Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason is a pediatrician and child psychiatrist who specializes in early childhood mental health. She works with high-risk children under the age of 6 and developed a screening method to help primary care physicians recognize young children in need of mental health services. Gleason has scrutinized the use of antipsychotic medications for very young children and worked to development alternative methods of treatment.
Gleason also serves as clinical director for Louisiana Project LAUNCH and Louisiana Mental Health Perinatal Partners.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Early Childhood Mental Health
Integrated Mental Health in Pediatrics
Media Appearances (3)
Prozac in preschool
But rigorous studies of these drugs in young children is "incredibly poor," says Mary Margaret Gleason, a pediatric psychiatrist at Tulane University. "We don't know much, especially with preschoolers," she says. "The older kids get, their brains have already developed, and we have more information."...
Still in a Crib, Yet Being Given Antipsychotics
The New York Times
“People are doing their very best with the tools available to them,” said Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at Tulane University School of Medicine. “There’s a sense of desperation with families of children who are suffering, and the tool that most providers have is the prescription pad.”...
Jindal questioned the effectiveness of these services and claimed they could be better delivered by pediatricians and nonprofits. Pediatricians, however, are not trained to diagnose or treat trauma, and cash-strapped nonprofits can’t afford hiring early childhood specialists, said Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, formerly a co-clinical director with the program and currently an associate professor of psychiatry at Tulane University. As a result, mental health care for children under 6 nearly disappeared in New Orleans...
Effects of institutional rearing and foster care on psychopathology at age 12 years in Romania: follow-up of an open, randomised controlled trialThe Lancet Psychiatry
Kathryn L Humphreys, Mary Margaret Gleason, Stacy S Drury, Devi Miron, Charles A Nelson 3rd, Nathan A Fox, Charles H Zeanah
2015 Early social deprivation can negatively affect domains of functioning. We examined psychopathology at age 12 years in a cohort of Romanian children who had been abandoned at birth and placed into institutional care, then assigned either to be placed in foster care or to care as usual.
Annual Research Review: Attachment disorders in early childhood–clinical presentation, causes, correlates, and treatmentJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Charles H Zeanah, Mary Margaret Gleason
2014 Though noted in the clinical literature for more than 50 years, attachment disorders have been studied systematically only recently. In part because of the ubiquity of attachments in humans, determining when aberrant behavior is best explained as an attachment disorder as opposed to insecure attachment has led to some confusion. In this selective review, we consider the literature on reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder and describe an emerging consensus about a number of issues, while also noting some areas of controversy and others where we lack clear answers...
Telomere length and early severe social deprivation: linking early adversity and cellular agingMolecular Psychiatry
Stacy S Drury, Katherine Theall, Mary M Gleason, Anna T Smyke, Immaculata De Vivo, JYY Wong, Nathan A Fox, Charles H Zeanah, Charles A Nelson
2012 Accelerated telomere length attrition has been associated with psychological stress and early adversity in adults; however, no studies have examined whether telomere length in childhood is associated with early experiences. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project is a unique randomized controlled trial of foster care placement compared with continued care in institutions. As a result of the study design, participants were exposed to a quantified range of time in institutional care, and represented an ideal population in which to examine the association between a specific early adversity, institutional care and telomere length. We examined the association between average relative telomere length, telomere repeat copy number to single gene copy number (T/S) ratio and exposure to institutional care quantified as the percent of time at baseline (mean age 22 months) and at 54 months of age that each child lived in the institution. A significant negative correlation between T/S ratio and percentage of time was observed. Children with greater exposure to institutional care had significantly shorter relative telomere length in middle childhood. Gender modified this main effect. The percentage of time in institutional care at baseline significantly predicted telomere length in females, whereas the percentage of institutional care at 54 months was strongly predictive of telomere length in males. This is the first study to demonstrate an association between telomere length and institutionalization, the first study to find an association between adversity and telomere length in children, and contributes to the growing literature linking telomere length and early adversity.