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Brain Res. 2014 Sep 11;1580:219-32. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.11.009. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

Oxytocin and postpartum depression: delivering on what's known and what's not.

Author information

1
Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Attachment and Neurodevelopment Laboratory, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates Street, Suite 4004, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
2
Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
3
Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Attachment and Neurodevelopment Laboratory, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates Street, Suite 4004, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
4
Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Attachment and Neurodevelopment Laboratory, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates Street, Suite 4004, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA; The Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital, 8080 N. Stadium Drive, Houston, TX 77054, USA. Electronic address: lanes@bcm.edu.

Abstract

The role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression has been a topic of growing interest. This subject carries important implications, given that postpartum depression can have detrimental effects on both the mother and her infant, with lifelong consequences for infant socioemotional and cognitive development. In recent years, oxytocin has received attention for its potential role in many neuropsychiatric conditions beyond its well-described functions in childbirth and lactation. In the present review, we present available data on the clinical characteristics and neuroendocrine foundations of postpartum depression. We outline current treatment modalities and their limitations, and proceed to evaluate the potential role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression. The aim of the present review is twofold: (a) to bring together evidence from animal and human research concerning the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression, and (b) to highlight areas that deserve further research in order to bring a fuller understanding of oxytocin's therapeutic potential. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav.

KEYWORDS:

Infant; Maternal caregiving; Oxytocin; Postpartum depression; Treatment

PMID:
24239932
PMCID:
PMC4156558
DOI:
10.1016/j.brainres.2013.11.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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