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Stress during pregnancy has an adverse effect on the post-natal period

Stress in pregnancy triggers an immune response in the brain that can contribute to the development of postpartum depression, a new study suggests.

Animal studies have shown that during pregnancy, chronic stress elicits an immune response in the brain, which can potentially alter brain function and thus contribute to the development of postpartum depression. That is, stress during pregnancy can change the way your brain works so that it is effective in the later.Postpartum Stress Affects Pregnancy (Photo: iStock)
For years, research at the University of Ohio has been studying brain function in the postpartum depression period, and research has been conducted on rats - read the Science Daily. In experiments on rats, pregnant animals were exposed to chronic stress, and after the birth of the offspring, I studied how the brain works in rats. We have known that chronic stress is one of the signs of postpartum depression, but it has not been clear what the exact correlation is. Postpartum depression is characterized by extreme sadness, anxiety and fatigue, all of which can disrupt the ability of the mother to prevent the child from suffering from stress. Based on what is already known about stressed rats' signaling in the brain during pregnancy, it is suspected that immune cells in the brain may respond to stress. In this case, immune changes in the brain can trigger conditions that increase the tendency to depression. In contrast, signs of neuroinflammation in stressed rats have been identified. The study also showed that the immune response of stressed rats was not active in most parts of the body, suggesting that there is a link between the body and events in the brain, he said. Benedetta Leuner, Associate Professor of Psychology, lead author of the study. During the experiment, the rats were exposed to stress that psychologically endangered the animals, but did not physically or harm the mother or the offspring. Chronic stress during pregnancy measures activity in immune cells called primary microglial cells, most notably found in inflammatory compounds indicative of activity, and suggests that microglial cells also act.
Previously, researchers have found that chronic stress reduces the rate at which maternal dendritic spikes grow, and they provide hairpin-like actions on brain cells. Rats with this slower growth behavior behaved in a similar way to (human) mothers suffering from postnatal depression: they had less interaction with their children and showed signs of depression. the answer is whether the newly discovered brain activity can be correlated with slowing the growth of dendritic spines. to change, ”said Leuner.
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