Document Detail

Exposure to Prenatal Psychobiological Stress Exerts Programming Influences on the Mother and Her Fetus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21494029     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Background/Aims: Accumulating evidence from a relatively small number of prospective studies indicates that exposure to prenatal stress profoundly influences the developing human fetus with consequences that persist into childhood and very likely forever. Methods: Maternal/fetal dyads are assessed at ∼20, ∼25, ∼31 and ∼36 weeks of gestation. Infant assessments begin 24 h after delivery with the collection of cortisol and behavioral responses to the painful stress of the heel-stick procedure and measures of neonatal neuromuscular maturity. Infant cognitive, neuromotor development, stress and emotional regulation are evaluated at 3, 6 12 and 24 months of age. Maternal psychosocial stress and demographic information is collected in parallel with infant assessments. Child neurodevelopment is assessed with cognitive tests, measures of adjustment and brain imaging between 5 and 8 years of age. Results:Psychobiological markers of stress during pregnancy, especially early in gestation, result in delayed fetal maturation, disrupted emotional regulation and impaired cognitive performance during infancy and decreased brain volume in areas associated with learning and memory in 6- to 8-year-old children. We review findings from our projects that maternal endocrine alterations that accompany pregnancy and influence fetal/infant/child development are associated with decreased affective responses to stress, altered memory function and increased risk for postpartum depression. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the mother and her fetus both are influenced by exposure to psychosocial and biological stress. The findings that fetal and maternal programming occur in parallel may have important implications for long-term child development and mother/child interactions.
Curt A Sandman; Elysia P Davis; Claudia Buss; Laura M Glynn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-4-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroendocrinology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1423-0194     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-4-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0035665     Medline TA:  Neuroendocrinology     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Women and Children's Health and Well-Being Project, Orange, Calif., USA.
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