Genetic markers predict postpartum depression

The following is an edited excerpt.

Researchers say that pregnant women may soon be able to take a blood test to identify if they have epigenetic modifications that indicate may indicate a higher risk of developing postpartum depression.

In a small study of 52 pregnant women, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found changes in certain genes which they could pick up in the blood, that distinguished women who went on to suffer from postpartum from those who did not.

The genetic changes were epigenetic modifications, which means they were not permanent alterations in the women’s genomes but instead reflected differences in the way these genes were activated.

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