Monday March 18, 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)

Next Story

Conflicts with Your Mother in Childhood May Reduce Purpose in Life Later

Only the child's perspective seemed to matter

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Mother-daughter conflict ups suicide risk in abused teen girls: Study. Pixabay

Children who have more conflict with their mothers during early years of elementary school may be at difficulty finding a sense of purpose in life during adulthood, suggests a new research.

A sense of purpose involves having the belief that one has a stable, far-reaching aim that organises and stimulates behaviour and goals to progress towards that objective.

The study showed children who clash with their mothers may struggle to find purpose as adults.

“One of the biggest takeaway messages from these findings is the path to a purposeful life starts early, well before we start to consider different goals for life,” said Patrick Hill, Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

“The research shows that it’s the child’s perspective of conflict that has the greatest effect on later sense of purpose and what matters most in this equation is the child’s relationship with his or her mother,” Hill said.

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Clashing with your mother can reduce purpose in life later: Study. Pixabay

For the study, researchers included 1,074 students (50 per cent female) and their parents, all of whom self-reported on levels of parent-child conflict in their families during grades 1-5.

The findings, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, showed children who reported conflicted relations early in life with fathers predicted less life satisfaction in emerging adulthood.

But the negative impact on sense of purpose was not nearly as strong as it was found to be among children who reported early conflicts with mothers.

Also Read- E-cigarettes Found More Effective in Helping Smokers Quit: Study

Only the child’s perspective seemed to matter.

Understanding the content of conversations, including how are parents demonstrating the value of a purposeful life, or how are they helping children to define and pursue their own purposeful paths can help us all understand how conversations matter to children in our lives, said Leah Schultz, doctoral student at the varsity. (IANS)