Genomics of Postpartum Depression–Action towards Causes and Treatment (gPACT); PACT for the Cure
2015 Award: $99,000
Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody helped assemble an international team of researchers and clinicians who, using open-source Apple software, could gather information from thousands of women experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD). Selected participants would submit DNA samples for researchers to compare against DNA from women who have never experienced depression. With this study, Dr. Meltzer-Brody and her team hope to discover genetic factors that could lead to better prediction, diagnosis, and treatment for perinatal mental illnesses.
Need/Problem: Postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum psychosis (PPP) affect millions of women worldwide and are the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Research on the causes of PPD and PPP are greatly underfunded leaving researchers and clinicians with an incomplete understanding of who is at risk.
Grant Summary: This project is an innovative and novel approach to rapidly elucidate the genetic basis of PPD and PPP by conducting an extremely rapid and large genome-wide association study. This will improve detection, prevention and treatment of these conditions.
Goals and Projected Outcomes: Our goal is to learn more about the biological basis of PPD and PPP by conducting a large genome-wide association study using Apple’s newly created open-source Research Kit software. We anticipate enrolling 100,000 women in the study via a smartphone based iOS app and collecting both phenotypic and genetic information from them.