Pregnant Depression May Affect Infant Brain Development

The brain of a child whose mother was depressed during pregnancy develops differently, which may put him at risk of anxiety disorders at a later age. This was stated by scientists from the National University of Singapore, after a series of studies.

Depression is a fairly common condition during and after pregnancy. According to the US government, about 13% of pregnant women and young mothers experience depression.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Anki Qiu, an associate professor at the National University of Medicine specializing in medical imaging, observed 157 pregnant women. During the experiment, women were asked to answer questions regarding depression at the 26th week of pregnancy. Then, for two weeks from the date of birth, the baby was sent for a brain scan.

As a result, it was found that there were no differences in the shape of the tonsils in children, despite the fact that their mothers had to test during pregnancy. However, researchers have revealed another. On the right side of the amygdala, the ability to communicate was much less in those children whose mothers had the most pronounced depressive symptoms. According to researchers, this can increase the vulnerability of children to mental illness and depression. Although this risk can be reduced if pregnant women are systematically checked for depression and effective treatment is started in a timely manner, which is therapy, drugs for depression, or a combination of therapy and drugs.

According to specialists from the Mayo Clinic, the fact is that women experiencing depression should consult their gynecologist in order to correctly assess the risks. Some mild depressions are treated with psychotherapy, and antidepressants are used to treat more severe forms.

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