A new study launching this week hopes to gather more information about the genetic causes of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. The study is being conducted by an international group of clinicians and scientists called the Postpartum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment (PACT) Consortium.
A couple of interesting things about this specific study:
1. The aim is to reach 100,000 women, making it the largest study of its kind.
2. The researchers are using an iPhone app to collect data, and then participants who meet certain criteria will be asked if they'd like to submit their DNA for further study. For women who may not have access to an iPhone, the consortium is distributing iPads to certain clinics around the U.S. I think having the device ask the personal, emotional questions might allow for more candidness than might happen in a face-to-face interview.
Though I'd like to include that mood changes can affect both mothers and fathers, and not just in the postpartum period, this is a hopeful step toward learning more and supporting new mothers and families.
"Obviously if there's some way that we could minimally provide better and more targeted treatments for moms, that would be amazing," said (Katherine) Stone of Postpartum Progress. "If you can take months or years off of a mother's suffering, it not only improves her health. It improves her baby's health."
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