Tuesday June 25, 2019

Stress During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Mood Disorder in Daughters

The researchers then used brain imaging to examine connectivity in the newborns soon after birth, before the external environment had begun shaping brain development,

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Maternal stress can increase mood disorder risk in daughters: Study
Maternal stress can increase mood disorder risk in daughters: Study Pixabay

Daughters born to women with high levels of cortisol — a stress hormone — during pregnancy could be at an increased risk of developing anxious and depressive-like behaviours by the age of two, a new study has reported.

The effect of elevated maternal cortisol appeared to result from patterns of stronger communication between brain regions important for sensory and emotion processing.

It could be because maternal stress may alter connectivity in amygdala — a brain region important for emotion processing — in the developing foetus, suggesting that vulnerability for developing a mood disorder is programmed from birth.

This could be an early point at which the risk for common psychiatric disorders begins to differ in males and females, the researchers explained.

“Higher maternal cortisol during pregnancy was linked to alterations in the newborns’ functional brain connectivity, affecting how different brain regions can communicate with each other,” said Claudia Buss from Charite University Medicine Berlin in Germany.

Muslim Women, Stress
Higher maternal cortisol during pregnancy was linked to alterations in the newborns’ functional brain connectivity. Pixabay

“Many mood and anxiety disorders are approximately twice as common in females as in males. The study highlights one unexpected sex-specific risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders in females,” said John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, in which the study is published.

Conversely, sons born to mothers with high cortisol during pregnancy did not demonstrate the stronger brain connectivity, or an association between maternal cortisol and mood symptoms, the researchers said.

For the study, the team measured cortisol levels over multiple days in early, mid and late pregnancy.

Also Read: Microbes May be Stirring Up Anxiety and Depression in Obese People

Measurements taken from nearly 100 mothers reflected typical variation in maternal cortisol levels.

The researchers then used brain imaging to examine connectivity in the newborns soon after birth, before the external environment had begun shaping brain development, and measured infant anxious and depressive-like behaviours at two years of age. (IANS)

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Don’t Stand and Eat, it May Up Stress and also Mute Taste Buds

The vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system

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Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down. Pixabay

Researchers have found that spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down.

The researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.

“This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes,” said study lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress. Pixabay

The research team found that the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate.

This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.

This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.

When people experience discomfort, foods that normally taste good do not appear as pleasant to the palate, said the study.

Also Read- SIAM Urge Government to Hold Wider Consultations, Follow Practical Approach on Electric Vehicles

The research team confirmed their hypothesis by having 350 participants rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.

They expanded the study by inducing additional stress and asked participants to try fruit snacks while carrying a shopping bag. Both sitting and standing participants reported the additional weight made the food item taste even worse. (IANS)