1H-MRS Measurements of Brain Metabolites in Postpartum Depression and Pregnancy

  • Author / Creator
    Burgess, Denee
  • Numerous investigations have suggested that dysregulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate (Glu) plays an important role in certain neuropsychiatric disorders, like depression. Pregnancy and the postpartum period are associated with the most substantial physiological alteration of female hormones which may likely contribute to variations in Glu levels. The objective of this thesis project was to measure Glu levels in the medial prefrontal cortex in women with postpartum depression (PPD) and pregnant women. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at the field strength of 3 Tesla, we acquired single-voxel spectra from 16 patients with PPD, 15 healthy pregnant women near term and 13 healthy controls. A reduction in Glu levels was observed in PPD and pregnant women compared to healthy controls. Lower brain Glu levels may play a role in the pathophysiology of PPD and could contribute to the impact of a normal pregnancy on the course of certain neuropsychiatric disorders.

  • 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.