Navigation Links
Exposure to cortisol-like medications before birth may contribute to emotional problems and brain changes
Date:11/1/2013

Philadelphia, PA, October 31, 2013 Neonatologists seem to perform miracles in the fight to support the survival of babies born prematurely.

To promote their survival, cortisol-like drugs called glucocorticoids are administered frequently to women in preterm labor to accelerate their babies' lung maturation prior to birth. Cortisol is a substance naturally released by the body when stressed. But the levels of glucocorticoids administered to promote lung development are higher than that achieved with typical stress, perhaps only mirrored in the body's reaction to extreme stresses.

The benefit of glucocorticoids is undisputed and has certainly saved the lives of countless babies, but this exposure also may have some negative consequences. Indeed, excessive glucocorticoid levels may have effects on brain development, perhaps contributing to emotional problems later in life.

In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, Dr. Elysia Davis at the University of Denver and her colleagues report new findings on the effects of synthetic glucocorticoid on human brain development. Their study focused on healthy children who were born full-term, avoiding the confounding effects of premature birth.

The investigators conducted brain imaging sessions in and carefully assessed 54 children, 6-10 years of age. The mothers of the participating children also completed reports on their child's behavior. The researchers then divided the children into two groups: those who were exposed to glucocorticoids prenatally and those who were not.

In this study, children with fetal glucocorticoid exposure showed significant cortical thinning, and a thinner cortex also predicted more emotional problems. In one particularly affected part of the brain, the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, it was 8-9% thinner among children exposed to glucocorticoids. Interestingly, other studies have shown that this region of the brain is affected in individuals diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders.

"Fetal exposure to a frequently administered stress hormone is associated with consequences for child brain development that persist for at least 6 to 10 years. These neurological changes are associated with increased risk for stress and emotional problems," Davis explained of their findings. "Importantly, these findings were observed among healthy children born full term."

Although such a finding does not indicate that glucocorticoids 'caused' these changes, the researchers did determine that the findings can't be explained by any obvious confounding differences between the groups. The two groups did not differ on weight or gestational age at birth, apgar scores, maternal factors, or any other basic demographics. Thus, the findings do suggest that glucocorticoid administration may somehow alter the trajectory of brain development of exposed children.

"This study provides evidence that prenatal exposure to stress hormones shapes the construction of the fetal nervous system with consequences for the developing brain that persist into the preadolescent period," she added.

"This study highlights potential links between early cortisol exposure, cortical thinning and mood symptoms in children. It may provide important insights into the development of the brain and the long-term impact of maternal stress," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Male birth defect is weakly linked to pesticide exposure, Stanford-led study finds
2. New study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol
3. DuPont C8 Lawsuits Alleging Kidney Cancer Due to Exposure to C8 Tainted Water From DuPont's Washington Works Plant Being Investigated by Wright & Schulte LLC
4. Canton, Michigan is About to Get National Exposure
5. Cocaine exposure in the womb: The brain structure is intact but development is off track
6. A single mild blast exposure can cause brain injuries with similarities to Alzheimers disease
7. “Leading Edge” Hosted by Jimmy Johnson Informs the Audience on the Dangers of Overexposure to the Sun
8. Exposure/ritual prevention therapy boosts antidepressant treatment of OCD
9. Judge Allows Take-Home Exposure Asbestos Lawsuit to Move Forward
10. Too Much Sunlight Exposure Can Burn Your Eyes - The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind Offers Prevention Suggestions
11. 7 Cell Phone Tips for Lowering EMF Radiation Exposure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The VA Maryland Health Care ... a research project focused on multiple sclerosis (MS). Led by Christopher M. Jewell, ... control the disease without compromising normal immune function that often occurs during autoimmune ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... A Palm Beach doctor plans to ... an international charity that provides free surgery to poor children suffering from cleft lip ... past I have run to support the efforts of the American Heart Association and ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... ... At Hallmark Nameplate, their commitment to quality is what sets them apart. ... This certification is another way they are making constant strides to provide all customers ... , The ISO 13485 Certification is a major accomplishment for Hallmark Nameplate and will ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... support an aid project with the donation of cochlear implants. In February 2017, ... hearing and thus a fair chance of leading an independent life. This engagement ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), now in its ... corners and commit the crime of stalking, a very real danger to many in our ... factor in stalking and other crimes. , “Stalking: know it. Name it. Stop it.”—so reads ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Tarix Orphan LLC today ... granted a Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) designation for the ... Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB), a rare genetic skin disorder. ... treatment is limited to supportive care. "The ... Drug Designation previously granted by the FDA in this ...
(Date:1/18/2017)...  Robust competition in the private marketplace is ... prices, according to a new study by ... the first to examine the share of prescription medicine ... managers (PBMs), health plans and other stakeholders in the ... first to show what happens when the list price ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 2017 North America Insulin Delivery Market Outlook ... America Insulin Delivery Market Outlook to 2022", provides key ... The report provides value, in millions of US dollars, ... segments - Insulin Pens, Insulin Pumps, Insulin Syringes and ... company shares and distribution shares data for each of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: