Early Life Adversity, Microglia Dysfunction Linked To Aberrant Adult Stress Responses, Mental Illness

Early life adversity, microglia dysfunction linked to aberrant adult stress responses, mental illness

The poor function of microglia, the brain's immune cells in individuals exposed to early life adversity (ELA) promotes aberrant responses to stress in adulthood that may be linked to mental illness, according to a new study. During brain development, microglia prune unnecessary synapses resulting in the formation of refined, functional circuits. Disruption of that process leaves too many synapses, changing the behavioral and hormonal responses to further stresses later in life.
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The Hidden Issue Of Anorexia In Pregnancy

The hidden issue of anorexia in pregnancy

Pregnant women with anorexia are at greater risk of having a stillbirth, underweight baby or pre-term birth, yet there are no clear guidelines for how doctors should manage the condition, according to a new study. Researchers have developed recommendations and principles for multidisciplinary management of anorexia nervosa in pregnancy. These recommendations include a focus on the specialist mental health, obstetric, medical, and nutritional care required to ensure optimal outcomes for women and their infants.
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Maternal Socialization, Not Biology, Shapes Child Brain Activity

Maternal socialization, not biology, shapes child brain activity

Children of mothers with clinical depression are at three times greater risk to develop depression themselves than are their low-risk peers. Researchers are working to understand the neural underpinnings of the risk, and some studies have shown altered brain processing of reward in at-risk children as young as 6. An outstanding question remains as to whether children with a maternal history of depression have a biological predisposition to blunted neural reward responding or whether it depends more on social factors. Now, new work finds those dampened responses depended on maternal feedback, suggesting the latter.
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