Epidemiological evidence suggests that an adverse prenatal environment permanently 'programs' physiology and increases the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, neuroendocrine and psychiatric disorders in adulthood. Prenatal stress or exposure to excess glucocorticoids might provide the link between fetal maturation and adult pathophysiology.
Prenatal exposure to maternal stress can have lifelong implications for psychological function, such as behavioral problems and even the development of mental illness. Previous research suggests that this is due to transgenerational epigenetic programming of genes operating in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, such as the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). However, it is not known whether intrauterine exposure to maternal stress affects the epigenetic state of these genes beyond infancy.
BACKGROUND: The methylation status of the human glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1 in newborns has been reported to be sensitive to prenatal maternal mood. This study investigates both the association between maternal cortisol and emotional state during pregnancy and the methylation state of the promoter region of NR3C1 gene. METHODS: We examined 83 pregnant women. Psychological data and diurnal cortisol data were assessed to evaluate maternal stress once each trimester.
OBJECTIVE: Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) from in utero opioid exposure is highly variable with genetic factors appearing to play an important role. Epigenetic changes in cytosine:guanine (CpG) dinucleotide methylation can occur after drug exposure and may help to explain NAS variability. We correlated DNA methylation levels in the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) promoter in opioid-exposed infants with NAS outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: DNA samples from cord blood or saliva were analyzed for 86 infants who were being treated for NAS according to institutional protocol.
European Psychiatry: The Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
BACKGROUND: There is debate as to whether maternal tobacco use in pregnancy is related to offspring behaviour later on. We tested this association examining multiple aspects of children's behaviour at age 5 and accounting for parental smoking outside of pregnancy, as well as child and family characteristics. METHODS: Data come from a prospective community based birth cohort study (EDEN; n=1113 families in France followed since pregnancy in 2003-2005 until the child's 5th birthday). Maternal tobacco use in pregnancy was self-reported.
Cuadernos De Bioetica: Revista Oficial De La Asociacion Espanola De Bioetica Y Etica Medica
Molecular interactions and cellular exchanges between mother and foetus or embryo in pregnancy generate an intimate symbiosis of two different lives. Interpersonal communication is an established requirement in the life of each man to reach personal plenitude. Initially on a biological basis, each person is open to others and his surroundings. While the body of the child is developing in the womb of the mother, the mother prepares the "last finish", which will allow him to assimilate and adapt to his peculiar world.
OBJECTIVE: To assess transplacental passage of propofol by measuring the levels in maternal and foetal plasma, and the possible relationship between the latter and the neonatal effects when propofol is used as an induction agent in obstetric anaesthesia for performing a caesarean section to terminate pregnancy. METHODS: Intravenous propofol was administered as an anaesthesia-inducing agent at doses of 2 mg/kg in 10 healthy women (ASA I-II). The propofol concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Awareness of depression among OB-GYN physicians has increased with the result that more than 13% of pregnant women in the United States receive prescriptions for antidepressant medications. But the safety and effectiveness of these compounds has been exaggerated while the effectiveness of psychotherapy has been overlooked and distorted and various medical guidelines for treatment of perinatal depression have been downplayed or ignored. This article addresses the common fears and misconceptions surrounding treatment of depression during pregnancy and after childbirth.