August 24, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"New research supports a growing body of literature that attributes maternal exposure to severe stress during the early months of pregnancy to an increased susceptibility to schizophrenia in the offspring". - source
The researchers, Dolores Malaspina, Anita Steckler, and Joseph Steckler are referring to extreme stressors such as that experienced during natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, sudden death etc.
The discovery came about after reviewing a collection of data gathered from 88,829 people born in Jerusalem between the years 1964 to 1976. A correlation existed among a higher risk of developing schizophrenia among the offspring of mothers who were in their second month of pregnancy during the Arab-Israeli "Six Day War". In addition, the correlation was even greater among females. In fact, females were 4.3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia, as opposed to males who were merely 1.2 times more likely to develop the disorder.
The theory is that stress hormones are amplified during such times of great distress and the placenta is very sensitivity to these hormones.
This research does not provide proof or a causal link, but it does support the existing research that suggests similar results. Malaspina makes sure to note that some exposure to maternal stress hormones are necessary, but extreme stress should be addressed in order to avoid any sort of impact on the fetus.
© www.mentalhealthblog.com 5 comments