Postpartum depression study in St. Louis; FDA fast-tracking a possible treatment

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A St. Louis-area study, previously fast-tracked by the FDA, is showing great promise in eliminating postpartum syndrome.

One in 7 women develop postpartum depression, but a study in St. Louis has shown great promise to cure the condition.

“In this study, we’re looking at not using anti-depressants, but looking at what the hormonal triggers into the brain that modulates mood and emotion that gets depleted after pregnancy,” said Dr. Greg Mattingly, Midwest Research Group.

Mattingly, a national leader of mental health disorders, called this a groundbreaking study – replacing a woman’s hormones lost at pregnancy with synthetic ones.

“In the first study, they gave a single IV fusion of this hormone. And 80 percent of the women, their depression went away. Eighty percent. In this study, it’s weeks. And they’re looking to see if they can get the same response orally replacing this hormone.”

Mattingly’s research group in St. Charles is only one of 18 sites in the country testing the possible cure. It’s a four to six-month study and women need to start within the first six months after giving birth.

“The study is on the fast-track by the FDA,” Mattingly said. “To put that in perspective, only 1 in 100 studies receive fast-track approval by the FDA. It’s a groundbreaking study; truly unique.”

At present, half of the women who get postpartum depression don’t get better on anti-depressants, they get worse, according to Mattingly. He said what’s happening right now with their positive results has been nothing short of amazing.

“It’s been heartbreaking to see people with depression come in, but it’s been gratifying to see them leaving feeling dramatically better,” he said.

If the study continues to yield positive results, this hormone could be available for moms within a year.

If you’re a new mother and feel like you’re struggling with postpartum depression, you can contact the Midwest Research Group at or call them at 636-946-8032.

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