Saturday , August 13 2022

The study establishes a possible relationship between the immune system and postpartum depression


The new study pointed to the relationship between the immune system and the development of postpartum depression after stress during pregnancy. Researchers at Ohio State University have found signs of inflammation in areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation and evidence of changes in the functioning of existing immune cells in the body. The results can help in designing future treatment problems, which can reach up to 15% of postpartum women, according to research.

The study, presented on Tuesday, 6, during the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, observed women with rats under stress during pregnancy, as the condition is already a recognizable risk factor for this disorder. Scientists have found that, like in women, guinea pigs begin to show reduced attention to their puppies, as well as signs of depression and anxiety in performing tasks.

Unlike unwanted animals, women also had a higher level of inflammatory markers in brain tissues.

The study also showed evidence that stress can modify the functioning of brain immune cells, known as microglia. The researchers looked at the medial prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain that relates to mood associated with postpartum depression.

"Postpartum depression has been poorly studied and, as a result, remains poorly understood," says Benedetta Leuner, associate professor of psychology at the university, lead author of the research. "Having a better understanding of the factors contributing to this serious and predominant disorder will be the key to finding ways to better assist women who are struggling (against the problem). "

Difficulties in binding to the baby and excessive fatigue are among the symptoms of postpartum depression. "Due to pregnancy, women become much more susceptible to depression because it is a time of stress, challenges and changes. Apatity does not work, which leads to mere suffering." The diagnosis should be as early as possible in order to save the child's relationship with the mother, "a gynecologist and obstetrician at the Sao Luiz do Itaim hospital Alberto Guimaraes explains.

One of the creators of the program, Parto Sem Medo, says that not every feeling of apathy or sadness is associated with depression. "In the immediate postpartum period, it is normal for a woman to have" baby blues "or" puerperal blues, "but she is transient."

A previous study on the topic is mainly focused on hormonal explanations of the problem, although studies have already been carried out in connection with the immune system, where scientists have observed signs of inflammation in the blood, something that did not appear in this study.

"It is particularly interesting that we did not find evidence of increased blood inflammation, but we have noticed in this area of ​​the brain, which is important for the regulation of mood. We are really excited because it indicates that inflammation in the brain can contribute to postpartum," says Kathryn Lenz , a co-author of the study, and also an assistant professor of psychology at the university.

Katherine estimates that the invention can help establish the goal of treatment, whether through medicines or techniques such as meditation, nutrition and stress reduction.

"Postpartum depression is exceptional and can have a negative impact on the whole family. We hope that this and future research will improve the lives of women and people around them," concludes Benedetta.


According to the leading researcher, according to the United States, at least half a million women suffer from the problem every year. And, according to Benedetti's assessment, the number reported may be lower than the actual case.

In Brazil, a study of 23,896 women in the six to 18 months after birth showed that 26.3% of women had symptoms of postpartum depression.

The research was done by the National School of Public Health Sergio Arouca of the Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (Ensp / Fiocruz) and published in 2016.

"Many women consider postpartum depression to mean poor mothers and to fear that they are incapacitated. One of the major barriers to treatment is stigma," said Maria Baldisserotto, a perinatal psychologist and PhD in the epidemiological program Ensp / Fiocruz.

Whoever is the eye of the new mother must not only receive the signs of her suffering, but also provide support.

"It is very important that those who are around give support without a judgment that this place of motherhood would be just happiness." One of the great tensions is the task of women for the idealization of motherhood. . "

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