Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Stress in the womb affects health later in life


The scientific symposium "Prenatal Stress and Brain Disorders in Later Life" slated for the 20th to 22nd September 2015 in Berlin is the first of its kind specifically dedicated to the subject of how stress in the womb influences health later in life.

Predisposition to and the rapid spread of diseases such as ADHD, depression, stroke or dementia are not entirely due to genetic factors or even an unhealthy lifestyle. Scientists maintain that life in the womb can influence the development of these disorders in adult life.

“Unfavorable environmental conditions, such as stress in the womb at critical stages of fetal organ development can lead to what scientists call fetal programming of diseases in later life, states the Jena-based Neurologist Matthias Schwab. Stress and the amount of nutrient supply are the major environmental conditions to which the fetus is exposed.

In the womb, stress for the unborn can result from maternal psychological stress or from moderate nutrient restriction caused by maternal diet or placenta insufficiency. The latter is not uncommon in older pregnancies.

“Stress in the womb prepares the fetus to anticipated unfavorable environmental conditions. Programming of a higher stress sensitivity and anxiety ensures survival in poor environmental conditions. Stress sensitivity is regulated by permanent changes in gene translation,” explains Prof. Schwab from the Jena University Hospital. Alterations in gene translation allow fast adaptation to changes in environmental conditions without any changes to our genes.

“In biological terms, an increased sensitivity to stress can initially be regarded as positive. Optimized stress specific reactions such flight and alertness are important adaptation mechanisms that ensured survival during the course of evolution. Almost everyone has experienced stress-related alertness, such as in exam situations: here stress-related alertness allows us to fully focus on the task at hand,” states Matthias Schwab.

However, increased sensitivity to stress is also associated with adverse effects. Stress is related to common diseases such as ADHD, depression and high blood pressure. Increased stress sensitivity enhances the risk of stroke, leads to cognitive impairment and early brain aging.

Matthias Schwab coordinates a 3 million Euro EU-funded research consortium BrainAge in which European and American researchers are investigating the “Impact of Prenatal Stress on BRAIN AGEing”.

In the project, molecular biologists, neuroscientists, physiologists, psychologists, and epidemiologists from Europe and the USA work together performing innovative experimental and epidemiological work to study the effects and underlying mechanisms of prenatal stress that lead to alterations in brain development and increased susceptibility to stress and consequently to the above-mentioned stress-related diseases.

At the symposium in Berlin, renowned scientists from around the world will discuss the latest developments in this field and exciting and novel results arising from the BrainAge project will be also be presented.

Symposium and Contact Details:
Symposium „Prenatal Stress and Brain Disorders in Later Life”
20.-22. September 2015, Seehotel Zeuthen, Fontaneallee 27, 15738 Zeuthen, Berlin

For the Organizers:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Schwab
Head of the research group "Fetal Brain Development and Programming von Diseases in Later Life"
Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital
Tel. +49 3641/9 32 34 09
E-Mail: Matthias.Schwab[at]

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Uta von der Gönna | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

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: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation

19.03.2018 | Information Technology

Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

19.03.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>