Drinking, Drugging During Pregnancy Can Cause Mental Disorders

Newborns whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy to any one of a variety of environmental stressors — such as trauma, illness, and alcohol or drug abuse — become susceptible to various psychiatric disorders that frequently arise later in life. However, it has been unclear how these stressors affect the cells of the developing brain prenatally and give rise to conditions such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and some forms of autism and bipolar disorders.

New findings, published online in Neuron, identify a molecular mechanism in the prenatal brain that may help explain how cells go awry when exposed to certain environmental conditions.  Read more…

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