Published online Jun 22, 2017. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v7.i2.77
Peer-review started: November 10, 2016
First decision: January 14, 2017
Revised: February 8, 2017
Accepted: April 18, 2017
Article in press: April 20, 2017
Published online: June 22, 2017
Core tip: Postpartum psychosis is a severe psychiatric condition affecting a small proportion of women shortly after childbirth. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying risk for the condition are extremely poorly-defined, but may include perturbed immune function, altered tryptophan metabolism and serotonergic dysfunction. Here, I critically review evidence underlying these assumptions, and discuss a novel model for postpartum psychosis risk, involving maternal deficiency for the enzyme steroid sulfatase, and overexpression of the CCN gene family, based upon emerging data from a recently-developed mouse animal model. Identifying and characterising predictive biomarkers for postpartum psychosis risk will help to ensure prompt clinical intervention if required.