Since I do not miss much the day that I will become dad I hear more and more talk of depression in the postpartum mothers! and sincerely this thing if raw could only touch me now I feel that it starts to touch me more closely! I hope that my woman never reads this article because otherwise she could fill me with words! I read however that the immune system could play an important role in the genesis of postpartum depression. Inflammation in areas of the brain responsible for regulating mood following a difficult pregnancy could be the basis of the mood disorder which, at this stage in a woman’s life, gives symptoms such as insurmountable fatigue, prolonged despondency, difficulty in bonding with the child.
IT WAS LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE. Several explanations have been advanced for this form of depression, not the least particular hormonal mechanisms. But so far the origin of the condition has remained unclear, and the one presented on 6 November at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego is the first study to focus on the link between stress, immune system, brain and depression.Already some research in the past had investigated the immune causes of this type of depression, looking for signs of inflammation in the blood of women returning from a birth, but the data showed alternate results. Benedetta Leuner, a psychologist at Ohio State University, focused instead on the brains of female rats, particularly on a region involved in mood control, the medial prefrontal cortex.
MEASURABLE SIGNS. During the experiment, pregnant rat females were stressed to simulate one of the known risk factors for postpartum depression (precisely, stress in pregnancy). In some cases rodents have developed symptoms of a form of postpartum depression: difficulty in paying attention to puppies, depressive-anxious behavior in different experimental situations.After delivery, unlike non-stressed rats, the rat females who performed the experiment had high levels of inflammatory markers in the brain tissue of the studied area, implicated in mood regulation (but not in blood). The researchers also found that stress can alter the functionality of particular brain immune cells, those of microglia.
PERSPECTIVES. According to Leuner, inflammation in this part of the brain could be a contributing factor to the onset of depression, and in the future, if something like this is demonstrated on sapiens females, this inflammation may perhaps be considered a new therapeutic target. The study is part of an increasingly nourished strand of research that investigates the relationship between the immune system and mood disorders.
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