For more than a century, clinical investigators have focused on early life as a source of adult psychopathology. Early theories about psychic conflict and toxic parenting have been replaced by more recent formulations of complex interactions of genes and environment. Although the hypothesized mechanisms have evolved, a central notion remains: early life is a period of unique sensitivity during which experience confers enduring effects. The mechanisms for these effects remain almost as much a mystery today as they were a century ago.
Prenatal development is highly sensitive to maternal drug use due to the vulnerability for disruption of the fetal brain with its ongoing neurodevelopment, resulting in lifelong consequences that can enhance risk for psychiatric disorders. Cannabis and cigarettes are the most commonly used illicit and licit substances, respectively, among pregnant women.
The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
Finely tuning levels of the key neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) during early life is essential for brain development and setting pathways for health and disorder across the early life span. Given the central role of 5-HT in brain development, regulation of mood, stress reactivity, and risk for psychiatric disorders, alterations in 5-HT signaling early in life have critical implications for behavior and mental health in childhood and adolescence.
OBJECTIVE: To depict the processes through which animals and human beings engage their environment in continuously evolving states of conflict and cooperation. METHOD: Descriptive literature review. RESULTS: Life history outcomes are more relative than they are absolute. Genetic variations play a crucial role, but heavily influencing behavioral outcomes, psychopathology included, are external cues that epigenetically remodel DNA along experience-dependent signaling pathways. The result is phenotypes that either optimize adjustment, or constrain it.
BACKGROUND: Prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) predicts a wide variety of behavioral and physical outcomes in the offspring. Although epigenetic processes may be responsible for PNMS effects, human research is hampered by the lack of experimental methods that parallel controlled animal studies. Disasters, however, provide natural experiments that can provide models of prenatal stress. METHODS: Five months after the 1998 Quebec ice storm we recruited women who had been pregnant during the disaster and assessed their degrees of objective hardship and subjective distress.
Prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) in animals and humans predicts obesity and metabolic dysfunction in the offspring. Epigenetic modification of gene function is considered one possible mechanism by which PNMS results in poor outcomes in offspring. Our goal was to determine the role of maternal objective exposure and subjective distress on child BMI and central adiposity at 13Ω years of age, and to test the hypothesis that DNA methylation mediates the effect of PNMS on growth. Mothers were pregnant during the January 1998 Quebec ice storm.
OBJECTIVE: Smoking cessation during pregnancy may reflect altruistic motives on behalf of the unborn baby. We test the hypothesis that pregnancy quitters have higher maternal-fetal attachment than persistent smokers, and secondarily explore how maternal-fetal attachment differs among non-smokers, pregnancy quitters, and persistent smokers.
Canadian Family Physician Médecin De Famille Canadien
QUESTION: One of my pregnant patients wishes to continue her hot yoga exercises during pregnancy. Is this practice safe? ANSWER: With the increased risk of neural tube defects and possibly of other malformations among fetuses exposed to excessive heat, pregnant women should avoid practising hot yoga during pregnancy.
The present study tests the sex-dependent effect of perinatal taurine exposure on arterial pressure control in adults. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed normal rat chow with 3% beta-alanine (taurine depletion,TD), 3% taurine (taurine supplementation,TS) or water alone (C) from conception to weaning. Their male and female offspring were then fed normal rat chow and tap water with 5% glucose (C with glucose, CG; TD with glucose, TDG; TS with glucose, TSG) or water alone (CW, TDW or TSW). At 7-8 weeks of age, they were studied in a conscious condition.
The present study investigates the effect of perinatal taurine exposure on renal function in adult, female rats on a high sugar diet. Perinatal taurine depleted (TD), supplemented (TS) or untreated control (C) female offspring were fed normal rat chow and tap water (CW,TDW or TSW) or tap water with 5% glucose (CG, TDG or TSG) after weaning. At 7-8 weeks of age, renal function was studied in the conscious, restrained rats. Mean arterial pressure was significantly higher in TDW, TDG, and TSG rats.