Publication details

Perinatal maternal mental health and amygdala morphology in young adulthood



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
MU Faculty or unit

Central European Institute of Technology

Keywords Maternal anxiety; Perinatal depression; Amygdala; Volume; Surface area
Description The pre- and perinatal environment is thought to play a critical role in shaping brain development. Specifically, maternal mental health and maternal care have been shown to influence offspring brain development in regions implicated in emotional regulation such as the amygdala. In this study, we used data from a neuroimaging follow-up of a prenatal birth-cohort, the European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, to investigate the impact of early postnatal maternal anxiety/co-dependence, and prenatal and early-postnatal depression and dysregulated mood on amygdala volume and morphology in young adulthood (n = 103). We observed that in typically developing young adults, greater maternal anxiety/co-dependence after birth was significantly associated with lower volume (right: t = -2.913, p = 0.0045, ß = -0.523; left: t = -1.471, p = 0.144, ß = -0.248) and non-significantly associated with surface area (right: t = -3.502, q = 0.069, <10%FDR, ß = -0.090, left: t = -3.137, q = 0.117, <10%FDR, = -0.088) of the amygdala in young adulthood. Conversely, prenatal maternal depression and mood dysregulation in the early postnatal period was not associated with any volumetric or morphological changes in the amygdala in young adulthood. Our findings provide evidence for subtle but long-lasting alterations to amygdala morphology associated with differences in maternal anxiety/co-dependence in early development.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info