Research Article

Mood changes in puerperium, and plasma tryptophan and cortisol concentrations.

BMJ 1977; 2 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6078.18 (Published 02 July 1977) Cite this as: BMJ 1977;2:18
  1. S L Handley,
  2. T L Dunn,
  3. J M Baker,
  4. C Cockshott,
  5. S Gould

    Abstract

    Eighteen women aged 18-31 years were studied daily during the second to fifth postpartum days to assess mood changes and plasma tryptophan and cortisol concentrations. Psychiatric rating scales, clinical interviews, and published biochemical methods were used. Over the period plasma free tryptophan concentrations tended to rise and plasma cortisol concentrations to decline. There was a positive correlation between plasma free tryptophan concentrations and mood state.