PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Study suggests adolescent stress may raise risk of postpartum depression in adults

2024-04-16
(Press-News.org) In a new study, a Johns Hopkins Medicine-led research team reports that social stress during adolescence in female mice later results in prolonged elevation of the hormone cortisol after they give birth. The researchers say this corresponds to the equivalent hormonal changes in postpartum women who were exposed to adverse early life experiences — suggesting that early life stress may underlie a pathophysiological exacerbation of postpartum depression (PPD). 

The team’s findings, first published online Apr. 11, 2024, in Nature Mental Health, also suggest that current drug treatments for PPD in people may, in some cases, be less effective at targeting the relevant chemical imbalances in the brain, and that alternative methods may be more beneficial.          

According to previous studies, an estimated one-third of psychiatric conditions fail to respond to current therapies, and “PPD is difficult to treat,” says study senior author Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center and professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, genetic medicine and pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The new study results add to evidence that patients with PPD are not all the same, and more individualized diagnosis and treatment — a precision medicine approach — is needed.”

PPD, states the federal government’s Office on Women’s Health, is estimated to occur in 7% to 20% of all women, most commonly within six weeks of giving birth. Symptoms include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue, and can make it difficult to complete basic self-care tasks and care for the new baby.

The current first-line treatment for PPD is the use of a class of anti-depressant pills called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but these are only effective in approximately half of all patients. SSRIs boost the effects of the natural brain chemical serotonin, one of many hormone-like substances that help control mood. Some patients also are treated with IV infusions of a different class of drugs that target GABAA, a brain chemical linked to nerve hyperactivity.

However, the calming infusions are costly (more than $30,000 for a single course of one such drug) and often require hospitalization. They are generally reserved for the most severe and resistant cases of PPD.

In the new study, the Johns Hopkins-led research team aimed to build on evidence that adverse life events may affect the likelihood and severity of PPD. Previous studies have shown that PPD is more prevalent in teens, and in urban populations.

Working with mice, the researchers first created four test groups: unstressed virgins, stressed virgins, unstressed mothers and stressed mothers. The stressed mice were subjected to social isolation in their adolescence, and all groups were tested for stress. At seven days postpartum, the stressed mothers showed decreased mobility and a decrease in sugar preference, both of which are considered markers for depression. This persisted for at least three weeks after delivery.

As the second and most critical step, the researchers tested plasma levels of several hormones and found the level of cortisol was increased in mothers both with and without adverse early life experiences. However, cortisol levels in unstressed mothers decreased to normal levels after delivery, while the levels in mothers with adverse early life experiences remained high for one to three weeks after birth. This finding, Sawa says, suggests a correlation between prolonged post-delivery elevation of cortisol and behavioral changes in postpartum mice who experienced social isolation in adolescence.

If these findings translate to humans, it could mean that a different kind of antidepressant, a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist, which blocks the effects of elevated cortisol, could be a novel treatment option for PPD. Mifepristone may be one such drug.

“Unfortunately, everyone knows someone who has suffered or currently suffers from PPD, and it has such a huge impact on both mother and baby,” says Sawa. “The alternative line of treatment suggested by the mouse study — where the findings are consistent with those from our observational study in humans — might enable mothers to be treated at home and avoid separation from their babies, and target a different mechanism for depression that may be specific to PPD.”

Plans are underway, Sawa says, to collect precise data on cortisol levels in people with PPD to determine if GR antagonists would be more beneficial than current treatments for some, and later, to conduct clinical trials with alternatives to SSRIs.

Along with Sawa, members of the study team from Johns Hopkins Medicine are Sedona Lockhart, Jennifer Payne, Gary Wand, Daniel Wood and Kun Yang. Team members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine are study lead author Minae Niwa, Adeel Ahmed, Shin-ichi Kano, Kyohei Kin and Jose Francis-Oliveira.

Funding for this research was provided by National Institutes of Health grants MH-092443, MH-094268, K99MH-094408, MH-105660, MH-107730, DA-040127, and MH-116869; the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression); and other sources.

The study authors do not have financial or conflict-of-interest disclosures.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

New book gathers insights, methods from rising generation of Indigenous archaeologists

New book gathers insights, methods from rising generation of Indigenous archaeologists
2024-04-16
LAWRENCE —  A book co-edited by a University of Kansas scholar that collects the experiences and know-how of younger Indigenous archaeologists, titled “Indigenizing Archaeology: Putting Theory into Practice,” is newly published by the University Press of Florida.   Carlton Shield Chief Gover, acting assistant professor of anthropology and acting assistant curator of archaeology at KU, conceived and co-edited the new volume. Its chapters include lessons and case studies from the discipline.  “This is the first book to our knowledge completely comprised of Indigenous scholars in ...

Scientists identify cell vulnerability ‘fingerprint’ related to Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia

Scientists identify cell vulnerability ‘fingerprint’ related to Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia
2024-04-16
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 16, 2024) — A new study from Van Andel Institute scientists offers a first look into the complex molecular changes that occur in brain cells with Lewy bodies, which are key pathological hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease and some dementias. The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, reveal that brain cells with Lewy bodies exhibit a specific gene expression pattern akin to a disease-related fingerprint. “We’ve long known that Lewy bodies play a role in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases but there are still many ...

Cooler transformers could help electric grid

Cooler transformers could help electric grid
2024-04-16
Most people do not give the U.S. electric grid a second thought — we flip a switch and the lights come on. Behind the scenes are thousands of power plants and utilities linked by millions of miles of transmission lines. And to make raw electricity useful, grid transformers convert high voltage to lower voltage that millions of households can plug into.  Transformers are aging and approaching an average of being 30 to 40 years old. Plus, they face more stress than ever before brought on by factors such as renewable energy and by extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves, and winter storms.  Case in point — the 2021 event in Texas that ...

Oregon State researchers advance pigment chemistry with moon-inspired reddish magentas

Oregon State researchers advance pigment chemistry with moon-inspired reddish magentas
2024-04-16
CORVALLIS, Oregon – An Oregon State University researcher who made color history in 2009 with a vivid blue pigment has developed durable, reddish magentas inspired by lunar mineralogy and ancient Egyptian chemistry. Mas Subramanian, distinguished professor of chemistry, and collaborators at OSU report the findings of the study, funded by the National Science Foundation, in the journal Chemistry of Materials. The new pigments, which could be used as energy-efficient coatings for vehicles and buildings, are based on divalent chromium, Cr2+,  and are ...

Conformity to masculine gender norms is linked to muscle dysmorphia among young people

2024-04-16
Toronto, ON - A new research study out of the University of Toronto sheds light on the intricate relationship between conformity to masculine gender norms and muscle dysmorphia symptomatology among a diverse sample of Canadian adolescents and young adults. The study entitled "Exploring the Association Between Conformity to Masculine Gender Norms and Muscle Dysmorphia Symptomatology in a Gender-Diverse Canadian Population" was recently published in the journal Sex Roles. Muscle dysmorphia, characterized ...

EuBiologics’ simplified OCV achieves WHO PQ

EuBiologics’ simplified OCV achieves WHO PQ
2024-04-16
- Euvichol-S, developed jointly by EuBiologics and IVI, improves productivity by approximately 40% over Euvichol-Plus® - Production and supply of Euvichol-S expected to help address cholera vaccine shortages   April 15, 2024, SEOUL, Republic of Korea – EuBiologics and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that Euvichol-S, an improved oral cholera vaccine (OCV) developed jointly by EuBiologics and IVI, has achieved World Health Organization prequalification (PQ). Euvichol-S ...

GPT-4 matches radiologists in detecting errors in radiology reports

2024-04-16
OAK BROOK, Ill. – Large language model GPT-4 matched the performance of radiologists in detecting errors in radiology reports, according to research published today in Radiology, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Errors in radiology reports may occur due to resident-to-attending discrepancies, speech recognition inaccuracies and high workload. Large language models, such as GPT-4, have the potential to enhance the report generation process. “Our research offers a novel examination of the potential of OpenAI’s GPT-4,” said study lead author Roman J. Gertz, M.D., resident in the Department ...

SwRI to discuss automotive decarbonization, automation at SAE International’s WCX™ 2024

SwRI to discuss automotive decarbonization, automation at SAE International’s WCX™ 2024
2024-04-16
SAN ANTONIO — August 16, 2024 —Southwest Research Institute helps the automotive industry transition to smart, sustainable mobility, developing hybrid, electric and hydrogen solutions and applying artificial intelligence for safe, eco-friendly driving. SwRI engineers will be in Detroit April 16-18 to share their expertise at the 2024 SAE International WCX™ World Congress Experience. WCX invites mechanical, electrical and software engineers working in mobility from around the world to share new knowledge and advancements. “The automotive and transportation sectors are going through tremendous change and challenges as they navigate ...

From a cryptic genetic element in the human gut to a sensitive biomarker

2024-04-16
A component of the human intestinal flora that has been little studied to date is the focus of a new study. Plasmids are small extrachromosomal genetic elements that frequently occur in bacterial cells and can influence microbial lifestyles – yet their diversity in natural habitats is poorly understood. An international team led by Prof. Dr. A. Murat Eren from the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB) reports in the science journal Cell, a mysterious plasmid, is one of the most numerous genetic elements in the human gut that could potentially serve as a powerful biomarker for identifying ...

Researchers can help shipowners achieve ambitious climate targets

Researchers can help shipowners achieve ambitious climate targets
2024-04-16
Shipowners around the world are in a very difficult position, because they are having to order new ships now that will run on fuel and technologies that are not yet fully developed. A new study suggests that ammonia could be a smart and energy-efficient fuel in the race to achieve net zero in shipping. Researchers at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management (IØT) and the Department of Marine Technology (IMT) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin

PKMYT1, a potential ‘Achilles heel’ of treatment resistant ER+ breast cancers with the poorest prognosis

PH-binding motifs as a platform for drug design: Lessons from protease-activated receptors (PARs)

Virginia Tech researcher creates new tool to move tiny bioparticles

On repeat: Biologists observe recurring evolutionary changes, over time, in stick insects

Understanding a broken heart

Genetic cause of rare childhood immune disorders discovered

With wobbling stars, astronomers gauge mass of 126 exoplanets and find 15 new ones

High H5N1 influenza levels found in mice given raw milk from infected dairy cows

Study finds discreet shipping used to sell e-cigarettes to minors

African scientists call for equitable research partnerships to advance microbiome research

How COVID-19 'breakthrough' infections alter your immune cells

Virginia Tech entomologist sheds light on 250-year-old mystery of the German cockroach

Advancing skin science: explore Skin Ageing & Challenges 2024 Strategic Topics in Malta this November

Controlling water, transforming greenhouse gases

MSK Research Highlights, May 24, 2024

ASCO: Large precision oncology study identifies differences in prostate cancer genomics among a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of U.S. veterans

ASCO: Combination therapy significantly improves outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Euclid space mission releases first scientific results and new images of the cosmos

Sociodemographic heterogeneity in the associations of social isolation with mortality

COVID-19 admission rates and changes in care quality in us hospitals

Preterm and early-term delivery after heat waves in 50 US metropolitan areas

Research spotlight: Virtual scribes reduced physicians’ time spent on electronic health records

Duke-NUS researchers develop new light-controlled ‘off switch’ for brain cells

Liver lesions at risk of transformation into hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients

Update on the STING signaling pathway in developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

[Press-News.org] Study suggests adolescent stress may raise risk of postpartum depression in adults