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May 07, 2018 Monday 04:06:42 PM IST

Antidepressant Taken During Pregnancy Improve Child's Cognitive Skills

Science Innovations

Columbia: Anti depressant taken during pregnancy can affect the child even after 12 years. A study of the relation between the  pre-birth exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, and thinking and attention skills in 12-year-olds reveals shocking output. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is an antidepressant which is prescribed widely for expecting mothers' depression. The study was conducted by Dr. Sarah Hutchison and senior author, Dr. Tim Oberlander.

Dr. Oberlander is a developmental pediatrician and investigator at BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre in Columbia. Dr. Hutchison is a UBC postdoctoral fellow at BC Children's Hospital.

Dr. Oberlander, in collaboration with Dr. Adele Diamond, UBC professor and a Canada Research Chair, followed 51 children from 26 weeks of pregnancy to 12 years of age. In this part of the longitudinal cohort study the investigators assessed mom's mood during and after pregnancy and the child's executive functions (EFs) at 12 years of age. EFs consist of a series of skills that help kids thrive in the classroom and workplace, including flexible, creative problem solving, the ability to focus and pay attention, and self-control.

"Depression during pregnancy and beyond is a major public health problem for mothers and their children," Dr. Oberlander added. "Non-treatment is never an option. It is really important that pregnant women discuss all treatment options with their physicians or midwives."


As the study revealed that the SSRI antidepressant treatment during pregnancy has a vital role in the better cognitive skills in 12 year old, doctors are critical of how it is going to impact the usage. 

(Source: Pediatric Academic Societies)





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