FRRB Project 1749118 - Exposures to PRenatal and postnatal adverse stressful Experiences: Multimodal omics signatures underlying Stress vulnerability and resilience and as Novel Targets for preventive strategies

Name and Surname of PI

Annamaria Cattaneo

Project Acronym


Project ID


Host Institution

IRCCS Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli - Brescia

Pathology of Interest


Research Area


Project Start Date

3 June 2021

Project End Date

2 June 2024


€ 569.400,00

Type of Project



Depression is one of the most common pregnancy complications, presenting a high incidence and severity, that make the research of etiopathological clinical and biological mechanisms involved crucial. Moreover, there is a growing need to identify early on women that are at a high risk of developing depression in pregnancy and to ensure that they receive an adequate support and intervention. Furthermore, the improvement of physical and mental health of these women would also greatly benefit their babies. In this context, the study PRESeNT aims at identifying biological and molecular alterations that are associated with the development of depression in pregnancy and that could play an important role on the neurodevelopment of the babies and their mental health. This will be made possible by using the available biological samples of an already recruited cohort of women and their babies, which will allow the identification of biological alterations associated with depressive symptomatology in the mothers, as well as potential behavioural changes in the children who are currently about 10 years old of age and undergoing a follow-up study.

In addition, making advantage of a new cohort of pregnant women, who will be followed throughout and after pregnancy, and of their babies who will receive assessments up to 1 year of age, the study PRESeNT aims at evaluating if pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies may have a beneficial and preventive effect in modulating such alterations observed in depressed mothers and their babies. Moreover, the study PRESeNT aims at developing a smartphone App dedicated to pregnant women, to monitor their mental health and promptly identify potential changes in their symptomatology.

Finally, the use of an animal model will allow the identification of central mechanisms activated and operating at brain level in response to prenatal stress exposure and which are associated with an increased offspring vulnerability to develop altered behaviours.

Project website