Doctors may have blood test for postnatal depression in five years

Doctors may have blood test for postnatal depression in five years

British doctors have identified the first advance blood test for postnatal depression, it was reported.

According to Sky News, the development could see pregnant women have a screening test which would allow those found to be at risk to receive treatment before they give birth.

Scientists are now hoping to refine the tests still further, and the tests could be ready within five years, Sky News said.

One in seven new mothers suffer from depression.

Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos, who led the research at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, described the research as being “extremely important”.

He told Sky News: “There is evidence that if you can identify women at risk early you could treat early or introduce measures to prevent or stop the process of the disease.”

According to the news channel, a study of 200 pregnant women, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, found two molecular “signatures” in the genes that increased the risk of postnatal depression by up to five times.

Researchers believe that changes in oestrogen levels make pregnant women more sensitive to the stress hormone cortisol, and those with the genetic variations are unable to correct the hormonal imbalance after giving birth.

Prof. Grammatopoulos has claimed he could test women for the genetic changes for £30-£40, but the cost could be reduced to £10 if the screening system is automated.


More in this Section

Ghislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse caseGhislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse case

Donald Trump postpones New Hampshire rally over tropical stormDonald Trump postpones New Hampshire rally over tropical storm

Comet provides spectacular show as it streaks past EarthComet provides spectacular show as it streaks past Earth

Travel firms warned over refund delays as quarantine rules end for 75 countriesTravel firms warned over refund delays as quarantine rules end for 75 countries


Lifestyle

Naomi Campbell model tells Michael Odell why she’s inspired by Black Lives Matter and the young people taking action against racial injusticeModel behaviour - Naomi Campbell at 50

Eve Kelliher explores temples of Zoom to get verdict on relocation from boardroom to spare roomWhat we've learned from world's biggest remote working experiment

As those of us who love to have friends round are tentatively sending out invitations, we’re also trying to find a workable balance with necessary social distancing rules, writes Carol O’CallaghanTable manners: How to entertain at home post-lockdown

Helen O’Callaghan says asthma sufferers need to watch pollen levelsBreathe easy: Pollen tracker protects asthma sufferers

More From The Irish Examiner