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Dad's life stress exposure can affect offspring brain development, Penn Study finds
Date:6/12/2013

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They also point out that a reduced physiological stress response may reflect some adaptive evolutionary benefit passed on to offspring to ensure survival in what is expected to be a more stressful environment.

"Whether such diminished stress reactivity would be detrimental or beneficial to offspring likely depends on the environment into which they were born, as well as genetic background factors," they state in the paper. However, they conclude, the finding that mild stress experience across a lifespan can change in male germ cells provides an important and novel mechanism contributing to neuropsychiatric disease risk.

"Next, we are examining the mechanism whereby these sperm miRs act at fertilization, and then we can think about using them as biomarkers in human diseases," said Bale. "And then we can begin to predict who has been exposed to what, and to think about prevention or treatment down the road."


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Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5653
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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