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Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy can cause Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The Executive Headlines

According to Neuro Science News.Com, "Antidepressant use during pregnancy may combine with inflammation to heighten the risk of lifelong neurodevelopmental changes in babies’ brains, such as those linked to autism, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

A team of UVA neuroscientists found that commonly used antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can interact powerfully with inflammation in the mother’s body from infections or other sources. In lab mice, this interaction caused harmful changes in the placenta and the decidua—the direct connection between mother and child—and affected the developing brain"

Experts's opinions

“Our findings suggest that [SSRIs] can have deleterious consequences when mixed with infection, inflammation, etc.,” said senior researcher John Lukens, Ph.D., of the UVA Department of Neuroscience and its Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG), as well as the UVA Brain Institute.

“Our results might help to explain the rise in autism prevalence over the last 20 years, as this time coincides with the rollout of widespread SSRI usage in the developing world.”

“We identified inflammatory signatures in the placenta that correlated with neurologic changes in the adult offspring of mothers that encountered an immune challenge during pregnancy,” said researcher Kristine Zengeler, the first author of a new scientific paper outlining the findings.

“These signatures could be used to help identify biomarkers and druggable targets to help mitigate neurodevelopmental consequences of prenatal environmental stressors, like an immune response.”

“We found that mothers who encountered an immune challenge during pregnancy showed a totally different signature in the placenta when they were on SSRIs compared to mothers that were not on SSRIs,” Zengeler said.

“This highlights the importance of considering the entire prenatal environment, as drugs designed to dampen inflammation may lead to unanticipated consequences on the baby if they are combined with other modulators, such as SSRIs.”

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