A Developing Treatment Could Help Women With Postpartum Depression

postpartum depressionThe baby blues are extremely common among women who have recently given birth. However, an estimated 1 in 7 mothers experience a mood disorder known as postpartum depression following the birth of their newborns.

Postpartum depression can affect a woman’s ability to care for her child as well as herself. The National Institute of Mental Health lists symptoms similar to more traditional depression, such as extreme sadness and irritability. However, this type of depression is also characterized by difficulty forming an emotional bond with the child, doubting the ability to care for the child, and thoughts of harming the child.

While therapy and antidepressant medications are currently used to treat postpartum depression, there isn’t a pharmaceutical treatment that targets this type of depression specifically … but there could be soon.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are currently conducting clinical trials testing a new treatment for women with postpartum depression.

The treatment involves IV administration of a chemical compound called brexamolone. The drug is believed to be able to regulate certain hormones that could play a key role in the development of postpartum depression.

Of the 21 women involved in the study, 10 were given the treatment, while 11 were given a placebo to act as the control group. They all had severe postpartum depression, determined by an evaluation called the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). The point of this trial was to determine whether or not brexamolone had an effect on the women’s HAM-D scores.

Recent results from a phase 2 trial showed that women who were administered the drug had improved HAM-D scores compared to the placebo group.

This trial in particular only featured 21 women total, and brexanolone is currently being tested under a phase 3 trial. Whether this could become an effective mainstream treatment for postpartum depression in the future is still unknown. However, researchers remain optimistic that many could benefit from treatment for this mood disorder someday.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.
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