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Bacterial infection in pregnancy may up autism risk in kids

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Bacterial infection in pregnancy may up autism risk in kids. Pixabay

New York, September 15, 2017: Babies born to mothers who experience a bacterial infection severe enough to require hospitalisation during pregnancy may be at higher risk of developing autism, a study has found.

The study, conducted on mice, revealed that the composition of bacterial populations in the mother’s digestive tract can influence whether maternal infection leads to repetitive behaviour and impaired sociability — autistic-like behaviours in offspring.

Further, irregularities that the researchers call “patches” are most common in a part of the brain known as “S1DZ” and were responsible for the behavioural abnormalities seen in mice.

“We identified a very discrete brain region that seems to be modulating all the behaviours associated with this particular model of neurodevelopmental disorder,” said Gloria Choi, Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the paper appearing in the journal Nature.

A second study in the same jounal, revealed that not all mothers who experience severe infection end up having child with autism, and similarly not all the mice in the maternal inflammation model develop behavioural abnormalities.

“This suggests that inflammation during pregnancy is just one of the factors. It needs to work with additional factors to lead all the way to that outcome,” Choi said.

Moreover, the researchers found that only the offspring of mice with one specific type of harmless bacteria, known as segmented filamentous bacteria, had behavioural abnormalities and cortical patches.

When the researchers killed those bacteria with antibiotics, the mice produced normal offspring.

If validated in human studies, the findings could offer a possible way to reduce the risk of autism, which would involve blocking the function of certain strains of bacteria found in the maternal gut, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Removal of Gallblader During Pregnancy May Spike Up Risk of Preterm Delivery

Also, women who underwent the operation during the third trimester were twice as likely to deliver a preterm baby and almost twice as likely to have abnormal maternal outcomes

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A model wears the Owlet Band pregnancy monitor at the Owlet booth at CES International, Jan. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. The device can track fetal heart rate, kicks and contractions. VOA

Getting The gallbladder removed during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm delivery and hospital re-admissions among others, researchers said.

Also, women whose gallbladder has been removed during pregnancy are more likely to experience longer hospital stays than those who delay the operation until after childbirth.

As pregnant women produce extra progesterone, the risk of development of gallstones increases. When these stones become problematic, causing extreme pain, a surgeon may recommend removal of gallbladder by performing cholecystectomy, a type of surgery.

But women who postponed cholecystectomy until after childbirth had better maternal outcomes.

“In light of these findings, whenever possible, women with symptomatic gallstones during pregnancy should wait as long as possible to let the baby mature before having cholecystectomy,” said Henry A. Pitt, Professor at Temple University in the US.

Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers compared 403 pregnant women who underwent the operation within 90 days prior to childbirth with 17,490 women who had the procedure within three months after childbirth.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, showed that maternal delivery outcomes, including eclampsia and haemorrhage for the mother, and preterm delivery were significantly worse when cholecystectomy was done during pregnancy as opposed to postpartum.

Eclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure. The eclampsia rate for pregnant women who underwent cholecystectomy in the third trimester was one per cent higher than those who chose to wait until after childbirth.

Also Read- New Software Can Spot Potentially Lethal Heart Diseases

Additionally, the haemorrhage and preterm delivery rates for women who had the cholecystectomy during pregnancy was three per cent and 12 per cent higher, respectively.

Also, women who underwent the operation during the third trimester were twice as likely to deliver a preterm baby and almost twice as likely to have abnormal maternal outcomes. (IANS)