Glutamate Levels in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Healthy Women during Pregnancy and the Postpartum

  • Author / Creator
    McEwen, Alyssa M
  • The substantial female hormone fluctuations associated with pregnancy and the postpartum have been linked to a greater risk of developing depressive symptoms. Glutamate (Glu) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depression. The objective of this thesis was to investigate MPFC Glu levels from late pregnancy up to 7 weeks postpartum in women at a high risk for developing depressive symptoms and to compare MPFC Glu levels during late pregnancy in healthy pregnant and non-pregnant women. Using in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) we acquired single-voxel spectra from the MPFC of women. We found fluctuations of MPFC Glu levels from pregnancy up to 7 weeks postpartum in high risk women (HRW) compared to healthy controls (HCs). As well as decreased %GM during pregnancy and the early postpartum in both HRW and HCs with a progressive normalization as the postpartum progressed. Findings may implicate Glu alterations and hormone fluctuations in the pathophysiology of PPD.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr.Chris Hanstock (Biomedical Engineering)
    • Dr.Esther Fujiwara (Psychiatry)
    • Dr.Glen Baker (Psychiatry)