LEIPZIG, Germany, June 18 (UPI) — As many as 70 percent of all mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression but most recover quickly, German and Canadian researchers say.
Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and Jeffrey Meyer of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, say levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A increase dramatically in the female brain in the days following delivery.
The researchers say enzyme levels were, on average, 43 percent higher in the brains of women who had just had a baby than in brains of women in the control group — women who had no children or had given birth a long time ago.
“Our results have the exciting potential for prevention for severe postpartum blues,” Sacher says in a statement. “This could have an impact on prevention and treatment of postpartum depression in the future.”
The findings are published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.