Pregnant women’s depression may alter the ‘wiring’ of their babies’ brains
Women with depression and anxiety during pregnancy may see their babies’ brains altered, a small study suggests.
Researchers say this modified brain development could be linked to behavior problems later in childhood.
Researchers say that maternal depression and anxiety were linked to changes in what’s known as white matter microstructure in the brain.
This area is similar to ‘wiring’, responsible for neural communication between different regions of the brain and helps control bodily movements to managing emotions.
Female babies exposed to higher levels of maternal depression and anxiety had less diffusion – or spreading of water – on a zero-to-one scale known as fractional anisotropy.
Meanwhile, males had higher fractional anisotropy if their mothers had high levels of depression.