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Serotonin Deficiency = Bad Mommies?

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Vivian Manning-Schaffel: A new study shows mice lacking serotonin are capable of eating their young!

depressed mom with baby
This startling study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported by the U.S. News & World Report, shows a direct link between the "happy hormone" serotonin and good mommydom.

In the German study, two groups of mice were put in a cage -- normal mice and those with a serotonin deficiency. The serotonin-deficient mice were markedly negligent toward their babies and were five times more likely to eat them!

Sure, people aren't exactly mice, but researchers do think the results might be transferrable to us. This group of scientists can use this information to create a new drug for humans that activates an enzyme in the brain to make more serotonin, as opposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) currently used to treat depression, which merely block the reabsorption of serotonin, and can be tough on other parts of the body.

Does this mean a prescribable end to postpartum depression? That remains to be seen, as scientists are still evaluating the connection between serotonin and the volatile hormone balance of postnatal women.

But you might be able to get a heads up if you're likely to experience postpartum depression. Earlier this year, scientists discovered a period of time in pregnancy where hormone levels could be tested to predict PPD.

Some might say all this scientific interference could disrupt the natural, organic experience of pregnancy or parenthood, but then I get to thinking about how tests and meds like these might have saved so many innocent children, like the Yates kids.

Hey, I'm all for better living through science. What do you say?

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cheapviagra4008 August 30, 2010, 4:32 AM

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