Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Baby girls born to mothers burdened by stress may be at risk for fibromyalgia

26.06.2006
Experiences while in the womb can have long-term consequences
Stressful or traumatic events experienced during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on the fetus, yet these effects may not become apparent until many years later, according to a study suggesting that girls born of such pregnancies may be at greater risk for developing a painful muscle condition called fibromyalgia as adults.

The study, presented at the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN 2006), shows how vulnerable a fetus is to "prenatal programming." Indeed, animal studies presented at ICN 2006 indicate that a synthetic hormone commonly given to pregnant women at risk for delivering early can permanently affect the newborn's neuroendocrine system and may have even more profound effects on those born in the next generation. ICN 2006 is being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh June 19 – 22.

Summaries of these studies' findings follow:

Stress during pregnancy may put baby girls at later risk for fibromyalgia

New research suggests girls who were born following pregnancies that were encumbered by stressful life events may be at greater risk for developing fibromyalgia later in life. While little is known about the causes of fibromyalgia, a condition affecting mostly women and characterized by extreme fatigue and widespread muscle pain, the studies led by Dirk Hellhammer, Ph.D., professor of psychobiology at the University of Trier, Germany, indicate "prenatal programming" likely plays a role. Stress experienced during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus's adrenal gland, permanently limiting its capacity for producing adequate amounts of the hormone cortisol, he reports.

Compared to 100 healthy female control subjects, significantly more patients among the 93 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia reported their mothers had experienced profound stress during pregnancy, such as the loss of a partner, physical or emotional trauma or lack of social support. Moreover, of these patients born of such pregnancies, only the women had "blunted" cortisol response in a standardized measure of psychological stress, an observation that supported findings in animal studies. Furthermore, low cortisol levels were only observed in patients with a history of prenatal stress. While more study is needed, results collected so far provide strong evidence that girls may be at added risk for developing fibromyalgia if, while in the womb, they were exposed to higher than normal levels of cortisol produced by their mothers in response to stress.

Effects of steroid drug during pregnancy can span generations

A synthetic hormone commonly given to pregnant women at risk for delivering early not only can result in permanent changes to the newborn's neuroendocrine system, but may have even greater effects on those born in the next generation, indicate results from animal studies.

Approximately 7 percent of pregnant women are treated with synthetic glucocorticoid to help hasten lung development when pre-term birth seems likely. Both animal and human clinical studies have shown the treatment could have long-term effects on neuroendocrine function and behavior. Using a guinea pig model, Stephen G. Matthews, Ph.D., professor, physiology, obstetrics & gynecology and medicine, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, has shown that late-pregnancy exposure affects neurotransmitter systems – the brain's primary communications vehicle – and makes fundamental changes to stress response mechanisms. Moreover, exposure in the womb to these synthetic hormones, which also have potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, can have life-long consequences. According to Dr. Matthews' research, exposure affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which controls how the body responds to stress and is involved in regulation of energy balance and the immune system as well. Now, in more recent studies, his group is finding such effects extend to second generation offspring, in whom changes to HPA function and behavior are even greater than in those directly exposed. For instance, animals whose grandmothers were treated with glucocorticoids exhibit reduced levels of stress hormones and modified activity.

Lisa Rossi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>