Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hunting the Genetic Signs of Postpartum Depression With an iPhone App

         With mothers and medical providers clamoring for answers about postpartum depression, scientists are starting a major effort to understand the genetic underpinnings of mood disorders that afflict millions of women during and after pregnancy. Researchers led by a University of North Carolina team will use a new iPhone app to recruit women who have had postpartum depression. The team’s theory is that postpartum depression may be distinct, involving genes with more identifiable effects because they act during or soon after pregnancy.
          The free app, PPD ACT, will be offered for this research. “To make sure this is not just a study of iPhone-using people,” Dr. Meltzer-Brody said, iPad versions of the app will be available and patients who want to provide their DNA will “right then and there be offered a spit kit.”This Research Kit software will be used for medical data collection, poses questions about sadness, anxiety or panic after childbirth in an effort to assess whether women have experienced serious postpartum depression. Women with high scores are asked if they want to submit DNA; if so, they will be mailed a kit to donate their saliva. Names and email addresses will be required, Dr. Meltzer-Brody said, but the project will encrypt personal data.

This article caught my attention because postpartum depression is a common everyday issue for women all around the country. This study can help and benefit so many women. I hope to read more about this study in the future. Postpartum depression is a serious illness and the fact that researchers are are starting to understand the genetic underpinnings of mood disorders is such a blessing.


  1. Postpartum depression can be very severe in pregnant women and women who have just given birth. I think this app would be essential in researching and evaluating the depth of postpartum depression. I think this would be beneficial to women in understanding the genetics behind it and it could also help them in how the handle their postpartum depression. Great Article. hope to hear more research on it.

  2. This is a great article and hope to read more on their research soon. Many women suffer from postpartum depression about 10 to 15% suffer in one of the three ways. The three ways are; postpartum mood disorder, postpartum disorder, and postpartum psychosis. Having about 15% of woman suffering is tragic and hope one day it will be less.