Full Text View  
  Tabular View  
  Contacts and Locations  
  No Study Results Posted  
  Related Studies  
Evaluating the Effects of Stress in Pregnancy
This study is currently recruiting participants.
Verified by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), September 2008
Sponsored by: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00525226

This study will evaluate pregnant women with a past or current diagnosis of depression or anxiety to gain a better understanding of how these disorders can affect an infant's development, both during and after pregnancy.

Panic Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety Depression Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Panic Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
U.S. FDA Resources
Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Cohort, Prospective
Official Title: Perinatal Stress and Gene Influences: Pathways to Infant Vulnerability

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Social and emotional development of infants who have mothers with depression and anxiety, during or soon after pregnancy [ Time Frame: Measured at Year 1 post-pregnancy ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA

Biospecimen Description:

Plasm, serum, and urine samples are processed and stored at each research visit.

Estimated Enrollment: 750
Study Start Date: September 2007
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2012
Women who have shown depressive symptoms during pregnancy

Detailed Description:

Depression and anxiety are serious conditions affecting millions of people each year. In fact, it is estimated that approximately one in every four women will be treated for a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety, at some point in her life. As effective treatment options continue to develop, many women diagnosed with depression or anxiety are able to resume normal lives and may choose to become pregnant. However, studies suggest that the intrauterine environment can be altered by maternal stress, depression, and anxiety, which may affect the fetus during pregnancy. Also, antidepressant medications have been known to cause complications for both the mother and fetus, which can make pregnancy a very difficult time for women with a history of depression and anxiety. These women are more prone to relapse during pregnancy, even if they previously recovered from the disorder. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether symptoms of depression and anxiety, during or soon after pregnancy, affect an infant's social and emotional development.

Participation in this study will occur from early in the woman's pregnancy until her infant's first birthday. Participants will attend at least eight study visits during pregnancy and five study visits during the first year of the infant's life. Most study visits will take place at the Emory University clinic on campus. During the first study visit, participants will complete questionnaires regarding their current mood, stressors, supports, experiences during pregnancy, symptoms of depression or anxiety, and any treatment or medications they are currently receiving. Urine and blood will also be collected at the initial visit. Follow-up visits, lasting 1 hour, will occur monthly until delivery. During these visits, similar questionnaires will be administered and blood, urine, and saliva samples will be collected. Uterine blood flow, fetal activity, and fetal heart rate will be recorded at some follow-up visits. Women who undergo an amniocentesis will have the option of providing a sample of amniotic fluid and an additional blood sample.

Immediately after delivery, blood from the baby's umbilical cord and blood from the mother will be collected. A week after delivery, a home visit will be scheduled to assess each mother's mood, stress, supports, delivery complications, and first impressions of the new baby. At this time, a behavioral assessment will also be conducted on each infant, and mothers will be observed while interacting with their child. At the infant's 6-month pediatrician visit, a saliva sample will be taken to measure levels of cortisol and other indicators of stress. Infants will be assessed at three other times before their first birthday. During these assessments, the infant's ability to regulate his or her emotions will be evaluated by videotaped behavioral observations, stress hormones from saliva, heart rate, or recordings of brain activity through the use of either an electroencephalogram (EEG) or event related potentials (ERP). Lastly, participants will be given the option to provide a DNA sample for further analysis and future research. Fathers of the babies will be included in selected study visits. Results from this study will be used to help prevent emotional and social developmental problems in infants whose mothers have been diagnosed with either depression or anxiety.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Women of child bearing potential between the ages of 18 to 45 years of age with or without a history of depression or anxiety disorders.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Planning pregnancy or less than 16 weeks pregnant by last menstrual period
  • Written and verbal fluency in English
  • Known identity of biological father

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Suicidal or homicidal
  • Psychosis
  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or an eating disorder
  • Alcohol or substance abuse within 6 months prior to study start date
  • Current illness requiring treatment that can influence outcomes (e.g., epilepsy, asthma, autoimmune disorders)
  • Abnormal thyroid stimulating hormone
  • Anemic
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00525226

Contact: Bettina T. Knight, RN, BSN 404-778-2496 bknight@emory.edu

United States, Georgia
Emory University Women's Mental Health Program Recruiting
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30322
Contact: Bettina T. Knight, BSN     404-778-2496     bknight@emory.edu    
Sub-Investigator: Joseph Cubells, MD, PhD            
Sub-Investigator: Sherryl Goodman, PhD            
Sub-Investigator: Michael Owens, PhD            
Sub-Investigator: Jeffrey Newport, MD            
Sub-Investigator: James Ritchie, PhD            
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Zachary N. Stowe, MD Emory University
  More Information

Click here for the Women's Mental Health Program Web site  This link exits the ClinicalTrials.gov site

Responsible Party: Emory University ( Zachary N. Stowe, MD, Principal Investigator )
Study ID Numbers: P50 MH077928, DDTR B3-PDB
Study First Received: September 4, 2007
Last Updated: September 18, 2008
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00525226  
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

Study placed in the following topic categories:
Panic Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Depressive Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Behavioral Symptoms

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pathologic Processes

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on January 30, 2009