Reproductive Affective Disorders: a Review of the Genetic Evidence for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Postpartum Depression

Katherine McEvoy, Lauren Osborne, Julie Nanavati, Jennifer Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose of Review: The purpose of this study is to review and summarize the literature exploring the genetic basis for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and postpartum depression (PPD). Recent Findings: There is more evidence for a genetic basis for PPD than for PMDD, but only when PPD is defined as beginning in the immediate postpartum time period. Summary: Familial, genome-wide linkage and association studies, and candidate gene studies, most in the past 10 years, have examined the genetic etiology of reproductive affective disorders, including PMDD and PPD. The most commonly studied genes include SERT, COMT, MAOA, BDNF, and ESR1 and 2. This qualitative review of the recent literature finds limited evidence so far for the genetic basis for PMDD, with both familial and candidate gene studies having negative or conflicting results. Evidence is stronger for the genetic basis for PPD, with positive associations found in family studies and in several genes associated with major depression as well as genes involved in estrogen signaling but only when PPD onset is shortly after delivery. Epigenetic biomarkers on genes responsive to estrogen have also been found to predict PPD. Our findings underscore the need for additional studies with larger samples, as well as the crucial importance of timing in the definition of PPD for genetic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • Genetics
  • Postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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