Postpartum Depression

Untangling how stress disrupts maternal brain communication and mental health

Study the underlying brain communication mothers need to bond with infants and how stress disrupts this process.

Dr. Autry working with fellow researchers in the lab.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
New York, United States
Dr. Anita Autry
Lead Researcher
Brenda Abdelmesih
Graduate Student Researcher

$0

of $25,000 goal

Flexible

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Flexible Goal

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Project Start-Up
Help raise $25,000 to get this project launched!

Project Summary

80% of birth and adoptive mothers will experience some form of anxiety or depression after birth, known as the "baby blues".

We plan to use an animal model of postpartum depression to uncover the impact of stress on the brain circuits that control maternal behavior.

Upon identifying how stress affects these circuits, we will attempt to block the effects of stress by manipulating these brain cells. We will conduct extensive review of these findings to identify how stress impacts a mother’s brain circuitry and how that brain function affects parental behaviors.

timeProject Length1 year
targetGoalIdentify how stress impacts a mother’s brain circuitry and how that brain function affects parental behaviors.
bottleResearch TypeExploratory

Why This Research is Important

15%

of mothers experience postpartum depression and 10% of fathers

7th

Suicide is the 7th leading cause of maternal death in the U.S.

Caring for a new baby often feels overwhelming and can lead to feelings of inadequacy or experiences of extreme distress. These feelings are normal and have a biological basis that can be understood by decoding the brain. Our research holds promise in informing the most effective therapeutics for postpartum depression so more mothers can experience the joys of caring for their newborn.

What Funding Helps Achieve

PROJECT START-UP 2021

In the start-up phase, we will use an animal model of postpartum depression to uncover the impact of stress on the brain circuits that control maternal behavior.

Facilities & admin (20%), Lab consumables (20%), Animal models (60%) = $25,000 (USD)

Research Team

Anita Autry, PhD

Lead Researcher

H-Index

 

H-Index reflects how often a researcher's published work is cited by others. It's used as an indication of their impact and productivity.

: 17

Brenda Abdelmesih

Graduate Student Researcher

An inspiring mentor-mentee team, Dr. Autry and Brenda are energized rising stars in social neuroscience. They conduct their research within Einstein's Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and contribute novel discoveries to the esteemed Brain Science Initiative.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

New York, United States

Einstein research teams have contributed to the world’s knowledge base in life-saving ways, including leading the largest early-stage breast cancer clinical trial in history. We also discovered a compound that makes cancer cells self-destruct while sparing healthy cells and drove the clinical trial into the first promising drug against COVID-19, among other notable breakthroughs.

The research enterprise is growing quickly with $197.3 million in NIH funding earned in 2020.