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Relationship of monoamine oxidase: A distribution volume to postpartum depression and postpartum crying

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Sacher,  Julia
CAMH Research Imaging Centre, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, ON, Canada;
Mood and Anxiety Disorders Division, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, ON, Canada;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Sacher, J., Rekkas, V. P., Wilson, A. A., Houle, S., Romano, L., Hamidi, J., et al. (2015). Relationship of monoamine oxidase: A distribution volume to postpartum depression and postpartum crying. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(2), 429-435. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.190.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-3260-7
Abstract
Postpartum depression (PPD) has a prevalence rate of 13% and a similarly high proportion of women report a subclinical state of one or more major depressive episode symptoms. The aim was to investigate whether monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) VT, an index of MAO-A density, is increased in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex (PFC and ACC), during PPD or when a PPD spectrum symptom, greater predisposition to crying, is present. MAO-A is an enzyme that increases in density after estrogen decline, and has several functions including creating oxidative stress, influencing apoptosis and monoamine metabolism. Fifty-seven women were recruited including 15 first-onset, antidepressant naive, PPD subjects, 12 postpartum healthy who cry due to sad mood, 15 asymptomatic postpartum healthy women, and 15 healthy women not recently pregnant. Each underwent [11C]-harmine positron emission tomography scanning to measure MAO-A VT. Both PPD and greater predisposition to crying were associated with greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC (multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), group effect, F21,135=1.856; p=0.019; mean combined region elevation 21% and 14% in PPD and crying groups, respectively, relative to postpartum asymptomatic). Greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC represents a new biomarker in PPD, and the PPD symptom of predisposition to crying. Novel strategies for preventing PPD (and some PPD symptoms) may be possible by avoiding environmental conditions that elevate MAO-A level and enhancing conditions that normalize MAO-A level. These findings also argue for clinical trials in PPD with the newer, well-tolerated MAO-A inhibitor antidepressants.