Loss of Placental Hormone Linked to Brain and Social Behavior Changes
[Source: Columbia University Irving Medical Center]
Preterm birth has been shown to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders and other developmental problems, particularly in males. The more premature a baby is, the greater the risk of either motor or cognitive deficits. What does the preterm baby lose that is so critical to long-term outcomes?
A new study, in mice, suggests that one factor may be the loss of a placental hormone that the developing brain would normally see in the second half of pregnancy.
The study is the first to provide direct evidence that loss of a placental hormone alters long-term brain development.
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