Dr. Veerle Bergink was awarded an EUR fellowship grant for her Postpartum psychosis project.
Posted by Admin on December 2013
With the EUR Fellows Scheme, the Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to
provide talented researchers with more assurance in their career move.
Congratulations to Veerle for this achievement!
Postpartum psychosis is the most severe form of pregnancy-related psychiatric illness, with a prevalence in the general population of 0.1% .
Postpartum psychosis is the most severe form of pregnancy-related
psychiatric illness, with a prevalence in the general population of 0.1% .
However, the underlying pathophysiology remains uncertain.
Thus far, no endocrinological aetiology for postpartum psychosis has been
demonstrated. In contrast, postpartum psychosis has remarkably similar
characteristics to many pregnancy-related autoimmune diseases: cyclical
exacerbation-remission pattern, high familial occurrence, and
relapse rates with subsequent pregnancies. Furthermore, they recently
demonstrated that patients with postpartum psychosis have significantly
elevated rates of autoimmune thyroiditis and pre-eclampsia, both of which
have established (auto)immune etiologies.
Therefore, the overall aim of the proposal is to conduct a focused
investigation of the novel hypothesis that immunological dysfunction
represents a primary mechanism underlying the onset of postpartum psychosis.
- Autoantibody screening for central nervous system antigens
- Within-subject differential gene expression profiling: acute onset
For this proposal, she will focus on the Rotterdam postpartum psychosis
cohort, the largest such cohort in the world, for which 120 patients with
postpartum psychosis have been prospectively enrolled with blood samples
obtained in both the acute and remitted states. Together, these studies have
the unique potential to both advance our understanding of the
pathophysiological mechanisms underlying postpartum psychosis, as well as
provide a clinically-meaningful risk stratification algorithm.