Wednesday October 23, 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.

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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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Physical and Psychological Stress during Pregnancy may Affect Baby’s Sex

About 17 per cent of the women were psychologically stressed, with clinically meaningful high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress

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For the findings, published in the journal PNAS, the research team examined 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress collected from questionnaires, diaries, and daily physical assessments of 187 otherwise healthy pregnant women, aged between 18 to 45. Pixabay

Pregnant women experiencing physical and psychological stress are less likely to have a boy, says a new study.

“Stress can also affect the mother’s immune system, leading to changes that affect neurological and behavioural development in the foetus,” said study leader Catherine Monk, Professor at Columbia University Vagelos College in the US.

“What’s clear from our study is that maternal mental health matters, not only for the mother but also for her future child,” Monk said.

For the findings, published in the journal PNAS, the research team examined 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress collected from questionnaires, diaries, and daily physical assessments of 187 otherwise healthy pregnant women, aged between 18 to 45.

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Stress can also affect the mother’s immune system, leading to changes that affect neurological and behavioural development in the foetus. Pixabay

About 17 per cent of the women were psychologically stressed, with clinically meaningful high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.

Another 16 per cent were physically stressed, with relatively higher daily blood pressure and greater caloric intake compared with other healthy pregnant women.

The majority (nearly 125) were healthy.

The study suggested that pregnant women experiencing physical and psychological stress are less likely to have a boy.

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The sex ratio in the physically and psychologically stressed groups favoured girls, with male-to-female ratios of 4:9 and 2:3, respectively.

According to the researchers, physically stressed mothers, with higher blood pressure and caloric intake, were more likely to give birth prematurely than unstressed mothers.

Psychologically stressed mothers had more birth complications than physically stressed mothers, the study said.

An estimated 30 per cent of pregnant women report psychosocial stress from job strain or related to depression and anxiety.

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What’s clear from our study is that maternal mental health matters, not only for the mother but also for her future child. Pixabay

Such stress has been associated with increased risk of premature birth, which is linked to higher rates of infant mortality and of physical and mental disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety, among offspring.

Also Read- Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Vision Loss in Diabetic Patients

When social support was statistically equalised across the groups, the stress effects on pre-term birth disappeared, the study added. (IANS)