Postpartum depression study shows gene behavior differs by environment
A recently released paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), "The Role of Mother's Genes and Environment in Postpartum Depression," explores the interplay between genes and environment when determining whether a mother is at high or low risk for post-partum depression. Daniel Notterman, vice dean for research at Penn State College of Medicine, was part of a multi-university team including Princeton, Columbia and University of York (UK) that conducted the study.
As part of the continuing Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, launched in 1997, researchers examined the DNA of more than 1,200 mothers. The authors specifically examined two genetic markers -- 5-HTTLPR and Stin2 -- that have been linked to risk of depression.
These data were then examined against whether or not the mother was depressed in the first year of her childs life and her level of education -- with low levels of education being a proxy for a negative environment and higher levels for a positive one.
While post-partum depression affected less than a quarter -- 17 percent -- of those sampled, the rates varied depending on whether the mother carried specific variants of a gene associated with biological sensitivity to her environment and her level of education.
Not surprisingly, mothers with genetic markers that made them more sensitive to their environment were more likely than other new mothers to become depressed if they were in a negative environment (i.e. low level of education).
Mothers without these markers looked the same across the education spectrum, with rates of depression the same regardless of environment. For these mothers, environment did not seem to have much of an impact.
However, when a mother with the sensitive markers was in a positive environment (i.e. high level of education) she was actually less likely to become depressed than all other mothers, including those without the environmentally sensitive genetic markers.
Thus, the term depression gene is not quite right. In fact, the genetic markers previously linked with depression are actually signaling a more environmentally sensitive genetic makeup. This results in mothers with the sensitive genetic make-up actually being better off than other mothers in a positive environment, but worse off than others in harsher environments.
Provided by Pennsylvania State University
- New study reveals environment's role in post-natal depression May 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study confirms link between mothers' depression, young children's injuries May 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Kids of depressed moms more prone to behavioral problems and injury Dec 04, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Low education, income levels linked to depression among urban black fathers Nov 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers track the impacts of depression during pregnancy Dec 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
20 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—The monstrous tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday, killing dozens of adults and children, is a stunning example of violent weather that can affect a child's mental well-being.
Psychology & Psychiatry 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Youth who had a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide, according to a study in published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This effect can last 2 years or mo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 20, 2013 | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 2
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
16 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
14 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (11) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
16 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
9 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |