Post Partum Depression
Search For A Cure
Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
Postpartum Depression Brain Science
Decades ago, researchers discovered that some of the chemicals produced when the body breaks down hormones such as progesterone seem to help neurons in the brain function properly. The researchers also discovered that the level of one of these compounds, called allopregnanolone, fluctuated in women during their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. Specifically, a woman’s allopregnanolone level increases during pregnancy and then drops after childbirth. This led scientists to suspect that allopregnanolone played a role in postpartum blues and depression.
The result of the research was the development of brexanolone, a drug that mimics allopregnanolone and that shows promise in alleviating the symptoms of postpartum depression. Brexanolone was approved by the FDA as a treatment for moderate to severe postpartum depression in March 2019.
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