17 Feb 2018 - 14:34
Father's stress linked to kids' brain development
New York: Fathers, take note! Taking too much stress may affect the brain development of your kids, a new study has claimed.
According to the researchers, the stress changes the father's sperm which can then alter the brain development of the child.
This new research provides a much better understanding of the key role that fathers play in the brain development of their kids, the researchers said.
Previously, the researchers including Tracy Bale at the University of Maryland School, found that adult male mice, experiencing chronic periods of mild stress, have offspring with a reduced response to stress; changes in stress reactivity have been linked to some neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and PTSD.
They isolated the mechanism of the reduced response; they found that the father's sperm showed changes in a genetic material known as microRNA. MicroRNA are important because they play a key role in which genes become functional proteins.
Now, the researchers have unravelled new details about these microRNA changes.
In the male reproductive tract, the caput epididymis, the structure where sperm matures, releases tiny vesicles packed with microRNA that can fuse with sperm to change its cargo delivered to the egg, they said.
The caput epididymis responded to the father's stress by altering the content of these vesicles, the researchers added.
The result of the study, presented at AAAS 2018 annual meeting in Austin, suggests that even mild environmental challenges can have a significant impact on the development and potentially the health of future offspring.
The researchers also noted that by learning more about links between a father's exposure to stress and the risks of disease for his kid, we can better understand, detect, and prevent these disorders.