Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Mental Health Dangers of Birth Hypoxia

28.10.2008
Lower Levels of a Protein Measured at Birth is Associated with an Increased Risk of Developing Schizophrenia as an Adult

Complications during pregnancy and birth, such as birth hypoxia - the shortage of oxygen in the body - are associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia.

However, it is not clear why hypoxia increases the risk for schizophrenia. The November 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry includes an article by researchers who show that the presence of a specific indicator of fetal distress following hypoxia was more likely to be present among people who later develop schizophrenia. Their findings suggest that the inability of a high-risk fetus to respond adequately to metabolic stresses that it faces in the womb may contribute to its later risk for developing schizophrenia.

Specifically, the authors analyzed levels of an important neuroprotective protein – brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - in umbilical cord and maternal blood serum samples obtained at the time of birth and stored in a repository for 45-50 years. They then compared the levels of BDNF found among those individuals who had developed schizophrenia during their lifetime to control subjects, i.e., those individuals who did not develop the disorder. Dr. Tyrone Cannon, the corresponding author, explains the findings: “We found that while BDNF was increased (by 10%) among controls exposed to birth hypoxia, it was significantly decreased (by 20%) among [people later diagnosed with schizophrenia who were] exposed to birth hypoxia.” John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments that this data “suggests that schizophrenia is not simply associated with deficits in BDNF, but rather it is associated with BDNF reductions at a critical moment in the development of the brain when it needs BDNF to cope with a serious metabolic challenge.”

Although this is a preliminary study, and the results need replication, the authors note that this may lead to the study of “novel molecular targets for preventive intervention.” The idea of prevention is an important target, as these findings promote “the public health message that maintaining maternal health during pregnancy and reducing the factors that might contribute to the metabolic compromise of the fetus might have real payoff in reducing the later risk for schizophrenia of that fetus,” posits Dr. Krystal. That science may one day have the ability to identify these high-risk individuals from birth would be a tremendous advantage in the struggle against this disabling condition.

Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>