Dados do Trabalho
The impact of maternal cortisol levels on neonatal total brain volume and head circumference
Chronic exposure to stressful stimuli can result in dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to increased circulating cortisol levels. When this dysregulation occurs during early stages of life, including during pregnancy, it can affect cognitive development and increase the risk of depression and anxiety disorders throughout life. There is evidence that mothers who have experienced traumatic situations before conception, during pregnancy, or in the early months of their offspring's life exhibit alterations in salivary cortisol levels and so do their infants, even if they have not directly experienced the stressful stimuli.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are effects of maternal cortisol levels and/or infant cortisol levels on total brain volume (TBV) and head circumference (HC) of infants (at birth and on the day of magnetic resonance imaging) in the first month of life.
A multivariate generalized linear model (GLM) was conducted to investigate the effects of maternal cortisol levels and infant cortisol levels on TBV obtained from magnetic resonance imaging and HC of infants from a cohort in São Paul, comprising mothers with and without a history of childhood maltreatment (case and control group). GLM analysis was conducted separately by sex and controlled for group and infant age in weeks on the day of MRI, referenced from the mother's last menstrual period before gestation (PMA). The statistical significance was set at 0.016 (i.e., 0.05/3; Bonferroni correction).
Resultados e Conclusões
Data from 126 dyads (F=57) were analyzed. The mean PMA of infants was 43.7 (±1,64) days. GLM showed a trend of maternal cortisol effect on HC obtained on the day of MRI only in female infants (F(1)=4.351; p=0.042; η²=0.077), suggesting that higher maternal cortisol levels were associated with smaller HC in female infants on the day of MRI (β=-0,78; t=-2,086). The analyses showed lack of evidence for the impact of cortisol levels (maternal and infant) on TBV and HC at birth in the overall sample and in the group of male infants. However, a trend was observed for maternal cortisol to predict HC of female infants on the day of MRI (PMA=47.7days), where higher maternal cortisol levels were associated with smaller HC, suggesting a negative impact of stressful events during pregnancy on neurodevelopment.
maternal adverse events, stress, cortisol, total brain volume, head circumference.
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Referências (se houver)
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LARISSA MELO MARQUES DE SOUSA, CÉLIA MARIA DE ARAÚJO, VINICIUS OLIVEIRA SANTANA, LUCAS PINTO RIBEIRO, GABRIELA MATOS RODRIGUES, MOIRA Valvassori, IVALDO DA SILVA, ALINE CAMARGO RAMOS, ANDREA PAROLIN JACKOWSKI