Infections in the mother during pregnancy can lead to psychiatric disorders in the baby, says a new study.
Children born to mothers who had infection during pregnancy can lead to disorders like autism and schizophrenia, mentioned the study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Researchers experimented on mice to see how infections in mothers can cause the stem and precursor cells to neuronal cells in the brain to impair the brain development of a foetus.
The findings showed that newborn mice exhibited symptoms that resembled signs of human psychiatric disorders like decreased pre-pulse inhibition, altered social interactions and cognitive decline. The development of cortical GABAergic interneurons (the key neuronal class that provides inhibition in the brain) was also found to be impaired.
The study concluded that the timing of the infections is very important and can lead to varying outcomes on brain development.
“The connection has been made in animal studies and clinical observation studies. However, this is the first time that we show how infections during pregnancy affect brain development and can lead to cognitive impairment,” said Konstantin Khodosevich, associate professor in the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC) at the University of Copenhagen.