This, in turn, is associated with more anxiety and dysregulated mood in young adulthood. Further, they demonstrated that both high and low structural brain age was associated with more symptoms of anxiety and dysregulated mood in young adulthood, suggesting that both faster and slower maturation of the brain might be seen as potential risk factors for mood pathology. Finally, the team showed that in the former case, accelerated brain aging mediates an indirect link between in utero exposure to maternal depression and more depressive symptomatology in young adulthood.
Since prenatal brain development is critical for shaping the lifelong trajectories of structural and functional brain change, and is associated with the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders, a better understanding of the impact of maternal depression during pregnancy on the symptoms of anxiety and depression in the offspring is needed. Their current results provide valuable clues to how early-life risk factors may translate into susceptibility to neuropsychiatric illness in adulthood.
This novel insight can stimulate further research on this topic, as well as ongoing efforts towards much-needed early individualised intervention and prevention strategies. The path to discovery Maternal depression during pregnancy is associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression in the offspring, but the mechanisms underlying this link have not been very well understood.
Since the brain changes structurally with age, the research team could rely on large datasets to model age-related changes in the brain structure. In this case, the scientists used a Neuroanatomical Age Prediction NAPR model, which is based on MRI data from thousands of individuals aged years old, to estimate the brain age of young adults from intervence proti stárnutí deprese Czech prenatal birth cohort.
While some people experience delayed brain maturation, others experience premature brain maturation. Consequently, the researchers assessed the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy, the brain age gap, and symptomatology in young adulthood.
This showed that individuals with greater deviations from age-normative intervence proti stárnutí deprese, both positive and negative, experienced more symptoms of anxiety and dysregulated mood. More complex modelling using moderated mediation then revealed that in individuals with a brain age gap in the positive direction i.
To read the full publication, please click HERE. DOI: