Congratulations to MD Camilla Borgsted Larsen for a successful PhD thesis defense on June 16th. Camilla's thesis is entitled "Structural and functional brain signatures of sexhormone transitions and implications for perinatal mental health".
Across pregnancy and the postpartum period (i.e., the perinatal period), women often experience mental distress symptoms and about 10-15% of pregnant and postpartum women develop a depression. The dramatic sex-hormone reductions from late in pregnancy (antepartum) to the early postpartum period have been proposed as a possible risk mechanism. Currently there is little consensus on their role, but estrogen sensitivity, at a genomic level, may be a risk marker for depression. Some studies show that serotonergic signaling may be involved depressive responses during sex-hormone transitions. Further, recent data show that sex-hormone transitions, including the peripartum are associated with changes in hippocampal plasticity. The aim of this thesis was to determine the associations between mental distress, the estrogen estradiol, markers of serotonergic signaling and hippocampal volume in relation to pharmacological and natural models of sex-hormone transitions in healthy women.
Professor Poul Videbech (Chairperson), Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Professor Liisa Galea, Department of Psychology, The University of British Columbia, Canada
Professor Birgit Derntl, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Germany
Dr. Vibe Gedsø Frøkjær, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Principal supervisor)
Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen, MD, DMSc, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Primary co-supervisor)
Professor Anja Pinborg, MD, DMSc, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Co-supervisor)