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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>