A link between stress in adolescence and the risk of postpartum depression

16.7% of women are affected by postpartum depression two months after giving birth health insurance. This is determined by MSD Handbook like “A feeling of sadness and hopelessness that prevents you from carrying out your normal activities. It begins during the weeks and months following childbirth.

Teenage stress only affects pregnancy

In a study published in the journal Nature CommunicationsResearchers have found an explanation for the development of postpartum depression in some women. Anyway, they found it in mice Psychological stress that occurs during adolescence changes the neural functions in the brain, which leads to a change in behavior but only during the postpartum period.

In fact, according to the researchers, rats who are socially isolated at the end of adolescence—a psychological stressor—have no change in behavior before pregnancy.

In the course of their work, the scientists were able to find the neural circuit by which adolescent stress alters postpartum behavior. This is the axis between the islet and the precortical region. In rats, the prefrontal region of the medial prefrontal cortex is involved in several cognitive processes. The insula, another area of ​​the brain, has it Very diverse functions, and in particular modulate emotional and sensory information.

To better understand this neural circuit, the scientists compared mothers of mice who were exposed to stress in late adolescence to a control group of mothers of mice who did not have stress in adolescence because they had normal social interactions with other mice.

Psychosocial stress causes postpartum depression

Thus, the researchers discovered that decreased activity on this axis between the insula and the preparietal region of the cortex was associated with lower acceptance of social novelty in stressed mothers.

Our study shows important findings demonstrating the involvement of the axis between the insula and the precortical region of the insula [impacts comportementaux durant le] Postpartum stress-induced postpartum stress in adolescents is associated with recognition of other rats, which is a key aspect of social behaviorMinae Niwa, one of the authors, says in a communication. In other words, the psychosocial stress associated with the isolation experienced during adolescence increases the risk of developing postpartum depression.

In the future, the researchers want to continue their research to better understand what is before and after this axis. This would allow them to better understand the mechanisms of changes in postnatal social behavior induced by social isolation.

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