The Incremental Predictive Validity Of Rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex Activity In Relation To Treatment Response In Depression: Evidence From The Embarc Study

Webb, Christian; Trivedi, Madhukar; Fava, Maurizio; McGrath, Patrick; Weissman, Myrna M.; Parsey, Ramin; Dillon, Daniel; Pechtel, Pia; Goer, Franziska; Adams, Phil; Trombello, Joseph; Cooper, Crystal; Deldin, Patricia; Tenke, Craig; Carmody, Thomas; Bruder, Gerard; Pizzagalli, Diego

Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbearing with a 13% prevalence rate, but there are no widespread prevention strategies and no nutraceutical interventions have been developed. Postpartum blues (PPB) is often a prodromal state for PPD, since severe PPB strongly elevates risk for PPD. A dietary supplement kit consisting of monoamine precursor amino acids, tryptophan and tyrosine, and dietary antioxidants was created. The aim of this open-label study was to assess whether the dietary supplement reduces the vulnerability to depressed mood at day-5 postpartum, the typical peak of PPB. Methods: 41 healthy day-5 postpartum women were recruited into 2 groups. Supplemented group (n521) received the dietary supplement (2g tryptophan, 10g tyrosine, blueberry juice1extract), Control group (n520) not receiving supplements. PPB severity was quantitated by the elevation in depressed mood on the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the profile of mood state (POMS) following the sad mood induction procedure (MIP). Results: Univariate analysis of variance demonstrated a robust induction of depressed mood on the VAS in the controls but no effect in the supplement group following the sad MIP (F(1,39)5 88.33, p,0.001; effect size 2.9). A similarly effect of group on change in POMS depression scores was observed (F(1,39)5 19.81, p,0.001). Conclusions: The dietary supplement designed to counter functions of elevated MAO-A activity virtually eliminated the vulnerability to depressed mood during the peak of PPB. This suggests that this nutraceutical intervention is a highly promising approach to target this prodromal state of PPD.


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February 1, 2022