Association Between Prenatal Stress and Offspring Mental Growth and Behaviour-A Review
Author(s): Sridevi G*
Gestation is an important period in a reproductive life of a female. It is a time of development of an embryo into a fetus inside the womb of the mother. A mother experiences many changes during this phase both physically as well as mentally. Research that investigated maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy have shown significant associations with emotional problems in children. Prenatal stress activates HPA axis inducing the release of several hormones, including cortico-releasing hormone (CRH), ACTH, cortisol and adrenaline in the bloodstream. Studies on animals explained that whatever be the type of stressor repetitive restraint stress or any unpredictable stressors, offspring’s of both genders showed decreased proliferation cells in the dental dyrus of brain and significant reduction in hippocampal granule cell neurons. Human studies also explored that impaired development of a white matter tract, in the uncinate fasciculus, in babies occurs in mothers who experienced more stress in and around the prenatal period. And it causes decreased proliferation cells in the dental dyrus of the brain and significant reduction in hippocampal granule cell neurons. Prenatal maternal depression is associated with structural changes in the amygdala. Reports showed that larger amygdala volumes are associated with behavioral disorders. Most anxiety and depression in pregnant women remain undetected and untreated during gestation. We need to make sure that pregnant women are emotionally unstable, so that the offspring are born with normal neural development.