Mother’s depression may affect kid’s brain development

Mother's depression may affect kid's brain development (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Mother’s depression may affect kid’s brain development (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Depressive symptoms in women during and after pregnancy are linked to reduced thickness of the cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for complex thought and behaviour — in preschool-age kids, says a new study.

“Our findings underscore the importance of monitoring and supporting mental health in mothers not just in the post-partum period, but also during pregnancy,” said lead researcher Catherine Lebel of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggest that a mother’s mood may affect her child’s brain development at critical stages in life.

Eighteen percent of women experience depression some time during pregnancy, and both peri-natal and post-partum depression have been associated with negative outcomes in children.

But the associations between maternal depression and abnormal brain structure in kids at this age was not known.

For the study, the researchers screened 52 women for depressive symptoms during each trimester of pregnancy and a few months after the child was born.

The women ranged in the presence of symptoms, some with no or few symptoms, and some meeting the screening criteria for depression.

When the children reached about 2.5 to 5 years of age, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure their brain structure.


Diabetes can affect your skin too!

Diabetes can affect your skin too! (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Diabetes can affect your skin too! (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Diabetes is a very common problem these days.

Though people think excessive intake of sugar and sweetened food lead to diabetes, the reality is our unbalanced lifestyle also play a significant role in contributing to the condition of diabetes. Many of us are not even aware that apart from affecting our body, diabetes can play havoc on our skin.

Skin Specialist Dr Rohit Batra from Derma World Skin Clinic shared information on how diabetes can affect our skin and how we can combat this problem.

Some common skin infections due to diabetes are fungal infection, itching, vitiligo, blisters, Digital Sclerosis, foot ulcer and others.

Fungal Infection: ‘Candida albicans’ is a painful fungal infection commonly found in diabetic people. The infection causes red rashes on the skin and leads to itching and pain. Jock itch is another fungal infection amongst the diabetic patients.

Treatment- The right treatment of the infection is to stop ignoring the problem. Do not ignore the infection right from the beginning and immediately contact the doctor at the first sign of it.

Itching: Itching seems to be a common problem; however, it can be severe and problematic. Itching in the lower part of the legs and feet is common among diabetic patients.

Treatment- Applying a good moisturizer is the best way to control itching. Slather a good amount of moisturizer on the affected area and avoid scratching to get relief from itching.

Vitiligo: Experts suggest that vitiligo is also caused due to Type 1 Diabetes. The cells responsible for the brown pigment on the skin get damaged in Vitiligo which leads to white patches on the chest, face, and hands etc.

Treatment- Light therapy is used to treat Vitiligo. Always make sure to use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 while stepping out in the sun.

Blisters: Blisters are common among diabetic people and appear on the hands, legs and the backside of the fingers. The good thing is that they are painless.

Treatment- Blisters heal on their own within one to two weeks. However, if you feel any problem, contact your doctor immediately.

Digital Sclerosis: Almost one third people with Type 1 diabetes struggle with the issue of digital sclerosis. The main symptom of this condition is thickened area in the skin which gradually becomes very tight. Due to this, it becomes very difficult to move joints especially knees, fingers and elbow.

Treatment- The only solution is to control the blood sugar level.

Foot Ulcer: In the extreme stages of diabetes, a special nerve gets damaged due to which the person doesn’t feel any sensation in the foot. Even a little scratch on the foot takes the form of a sore and may take weeks to heal.

Treatment- As soon as you notice this con


Air Pollution Can Affect Blood Pressure, Says Study

Air Pollution Can Affect Blood Pressure, Says Study

PARIS, FRANCE: Long-term exposure to urban air pollution incrementally increases the risk of high blood pressure, according to a study released Tuesday of more than 41,000 European city-dwellers.

Constant noise pollution — especially traffic — also boosts the likelihood of hypertension, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal.

High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for premature illness and death.

The study found that one extra adult per 100 people of roughly the same age developed high blood pressure in the most polluted part of towns compared to more breathable neighbourhoods.

The risk is similar to being clinically overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-30, the researchers said.

To carry out the study, 33 experts led by Barbara Hoffmann, a professor at Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany, monitored 41,071 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Spain for five to nine years.

At the same time, the researchers examined air quality annually in each locale during three two-week periods between 2008 and 2011, measuring different sizes of particle matter.

Every increment of five micrograms — or millionths of a gram — of the smallest of these particles upped the risk of hypertension by a fifth for people living in the most polluted areas, compared to those in the least polluted.
None of the participants had hypertension when they joined the study, but during the follow-up period 6,207 people — 15 per cent — reported that they developed hypertension or started to take medication to lower blood pressure.

For noise pollution, the researchers found that people living on busy streets with loud night-time traffic had, on average, a six percent increased risk of developing hypertension compared to areas where noise levels were at least 20 percent lower.

“Our findings show that long-term exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with a higher incidence of self-reported hypertension,” Hoffmann said in a statement.

Even when noise was excluded, the impact of air pollution on blood pressure remained, she added.

“Current legislation does not protect the European population adequately from adverse effects of air pollution,” the researchers concluded.

Pollution levels were higher in Spain and Germany than in the Nordic countries, Hoffmann noted.

Air pollution is thought to affect the heart and blood vessels by causing inflammation, a build-up of damaging molecules, known as oxidative stress, and an imbalance in the nervous system.

Noise is thought to affect the functioning of both the nervous and hormonal systems.


Adverse events in childhood may affect child’s health

Adverse events in childhood may affect child's healthAdverse events in childhood may affect child’s health
Household dysfunction or any adverse event in childhood may have a short-term affect on a child’s health and weight in early days as well, finds a study.

The study suggested that children exposed to early adversity also have increased risk for asthma, infection, somatic complaints, and sleep disruption.

Maternal mental health issues are associated with elevated cortisol levels, and maltreatment is associated with a lower cortisol profile.

For the study, the researchers examined 39 cohort studies to determine the effect that adverse childhood experiences have on health and biological outcomes in children.

“The majority of research on early adversity has looked at long-term adult outcomes. While this research has helped identify the problem, we must also deepen our understanding of what is happening in the brains and bodies of our children as they experience adversity,” said Debby Oh, Researcher at the Center for Youth Wellness, US in a statement.

The researchers suggested that with appropriate intervention, children are able to recover from some of these negative health effects, making early detection a powerful tool to protect the health and well-being of children before long-term adult outcomes occur.

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