Children born by cesarean section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism: A Study


The initial results of a study suggested that children born by cesarean section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder but that association did not hold up in further analysis of sibling pairs, implying the initial association was not causal and was more likely due to unknown genetic or environmental factors, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is thought to affect about 0.62 percent of children … [Read more...]

The infant gut microbiome: New studies on its origins and how it’s knocked out of balance: A Swedish Study


A fecal sample analysis of 98 Swedish infants over the first year of life found a connection between the development of a child's gut microbiome and the way he or she is delivered. Babies born via C-section had gut bacteria that showed significantly less resemblance to their mothers compared to those that were delivered vaginally. The study, which appears May 11 in Cell Host & Microbe's special issue on "The Host-Microbiota Balance," also found nutrition to be a main driver of infant gut … [Read more...]

Yoga can help keep expectant mothers stress free: A Manchester University


For the first time, researchers in the UK have studied the effects of yoga on pregnant women, and found that it can reduce the risk of them developing anxiety and depression. Stress during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth, low birth weight and increased developmental and behavioural problems in the child as a toddler and adolescent, as well as later mental health problems in the mother. A high level of anxiety during pregnancy is linked with postnatal depression which in turn is … [Read more...]

Acupuncture can treat hot flashes: A Study


In the 2,500+ years that have passed since acupuncture was first used by the ancient Chinese, it has been used to treat a number of physical, mental and emotional conditions including nausea and vomiting, stroke rehabilitation, headaches, menstrual cramps, asthma, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, to name just a few. Now, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials which is being published this month in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), … [Read more...]

Caffeine intake may worsen menopausal hot flashes and night sweats: A Study


A new Mayo Clinic study, published online by the journal Menopause, found an association between caffeine intake and more bothersome hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women. The study also showed an association between caffeine intake and fewer problems with mood, memory and concentration in perimenopausal women, possibly because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, mood and attention. The findings of this largest study to date on caffeine and menopausal symptoms are published on … [Read more...]

Pregnant women are often given inappropriate treatment for malaria: A Study


Not all pregnant women with symptoms of malaria seek care from their formal healthcare system and if they do seek care, they may be given inappropriate treatment because healthcare providers often fail to adhere to the standard (World Health Organization-WHO) diagnostic and treatment guidelines, according to a study by UK researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine. The authors (led by Jenny Hill from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) reached these conclusions by reviewing all … [Read more...]

Premature babies are at an increased risk for developing autism: A Washington University Study


Premature babies are at an increased risk for developing autism spectrum disorder. But a small study indicates that preemies who avoid eye contact in early infancy are less likely to demonstrate symptoms of autism at age 2 than preemies who maintain eye contact during early interactions, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "Children with autism typically have challenges with social interaction and may avoid eye contact, but it turned out that … [Read more...]

High-fat maternal diet changes newborn heart ‘tastebuds’


The study, led by the UNSW Head of Pharmacology Professor Margaret Morris and published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, examined the effect of a fatty maternal diet on receptors in the hearts of newborn rats, including those which detect certain flavours. Taste receptors have only recently been shown to exist outside the mouth, at sites including the heart, where both bitter and umami -- or savoury -- receptors have been identified. Their function is not yet clear, … [Read more...]

Benefits, risks of antidepressants during pregnancy


Treating maternal psychiatric disorder with commonly used antidepressants is associated with a lower risk of certain pregnancy complications including preterm birth and delivery by Caesarean section, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. However, the medications -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs -- resulted in an increased risk of neonatal … [Read more...]

New information on brain development and fertility discovered: A Study


Researchers at IRB Barcelona study CEP63, a gene that is mutated in Seckel Syndrome, a rare disease that causes microcephaly and growth defects. The protein CEP63 is crucial for the correct division of brain stem cells. In its absence, mice reproduce Seckel Syndrome. The scientists rescued the microcephaly during mouse embryonic development by removing a protein that caused the loss of stem cells. Also, CEP63-depleted male mice are infertile. The relationship between this protein and sperm … [Read more...]