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Authors

  1. Lapato, Dana M. PhD
  2. Wolf, Hope M. BA
  3. Lancaster, Eva E. BA
  4. Roberson-Nay, Roxann PhD
  5. York, Timothy P. PhD

Abstract

Depression onset during and after pregnancy is prevalent and associated with significant implications for maternal, child, and family health. Although environmental risk factors important to the expression of pregnancy-related depression are well known, knowledge of the genetic underpinning is limited. Given the joint contribution of environmental and genetic factors to depression risk liability, DNA methylation presents itself as an ideal biomarker to investigate basic mechanisms and opportunities for translational research to care for pregnancy-related depression health outcomes. This article is an introduction to DNA methylation and its potential to serve as a marker of depression risk during pregnancy and the postpartum. This commentary discusses current clinical uses of DNA methylation-based testing and how it may be applied to perinatal depression clinical care and management.