Sunday November 17, 2019

Young Mothers Likely to Have Kids with ADHD: Study

According to the researchers, this might caution and prevent them from giving birth at an immature age

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ADHD
Genetic risk of ADHD in children was strongly associated with early maternal age at first birth, particularly for women younger than 20. Pixabay

Young mothers have a greater chance of having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder commonly known as ADHD, warn researchers from the University of Australia.

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder which impacts a person’s ability to exert age-appropriate self-control.

“The findings could help improve reproductive health in women and deliver better outcomes for their children,” said Hong Lee, Associate Professor at the University of Australia.

“Young mums can have it tough, especially as they’re adjusting to becoming a parent while they’re still young themselves,” Lee added.

Published in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, the study explored the genetic relationship between female reproductive traits and key psychiatric disorders.

They found that the genetic risk of ADHD in children was strongly associated with early maternal age at first birth, particularly for women younger than 20.

Using genetic data of 220,685 women via the UK Biobank, the study examined genetic correlations between five female reproductive traits (age at first birth, age at first sexual intercourse, age at first occurrence of menstruation, age at menopause, and number of live births) and six common psychiatric disorders (ADHD, autism, eating disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia).

ADHD
Young mothers have a greater chance of having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder commonly known as ADHD, warn researchers from the University of Australia. Pixabay

“The approach is twofold. Firstly, we’re able to inform young women about the high genetic risk of having a child with ADHD if they give birth at a young age,” Lee said.

According to the researchers, this might caution and prevent them from giving birth at an immature age, which not only improves their reproductive health but also the maternal environment for their babies.

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“Secondly, we’re able to educate young mothers about the features of ADHD, such as impulsivity and inattentive behaviours, which may help mothers better recognise the condition in their child and seek treatment sooner than later,” Lee said.

ADHD is a highly heritable disorder which means that a young mother might also have the genes affecting ADHD risk which is then inherited by her child, the study said. (IANS)

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Immune Cells Become Active and Repair Brain While Sleep: Study

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice

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Sleep
Study suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during Sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the Brain. Pixabay

Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we sleep.

Microglia serve as the brain’s first responders, patrolling the brain and spinal cord and springing into action to stamp out infections or gobble up debris from dead cell tissue.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,” said study lead author Ania Majewska, Professor at University of Rochester in the US.

In previous studies, Majewska’s lab has shown how microglia interact with synapses, the juncture where the axons of one neuron connects and communicates with its neighbours.

The microglia help maintain the health and function of the synapses and prune connections between nerve cells when they are no longer necessary for brain function.

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice.

The current study points to the role of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that signals arousal and stress in the central nervous system.

This chemical is present in low levels in the brain while we sleep, but when production ramps up it arouses our nerve cells, causing us to wake up and become alert.

The study showed that norepinephrine also acts on a specific receptor, the beta2 adrenergic receptor, which is expressed at high levels in microglia.

When this chemical is present in the brain, the microglia slip into a sort of hibernation.

Sleep
Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we Sleep and affects Brain. Pixabay

The study, which employed an advanced imaging technology that allows researchers to observe activity in the living brain, showed that when mice were exposed to high levels of norepinephrine, the microglia became inactive and were unable to respond to local injuries and pulled back from their role in rewiring brain networks.

“This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain,” said study first author Rianne Stowell.

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“Altogether, this research also shows that microglia are exquisitely sensitive to signals that modulate brain function and that microglial dynamics and functions are modulated by the behavioural state of the animal,” Stowell said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (IANS)