Obesity in pregnancy may affect baby’s brain development

University of Otago researchers have recently found a clue as to why mums who are obese during pregnancy may have offspring with a higher risk of neurodevelopment disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, anxiety and depression. Using animal models, the researchers found oxytocin (the so-called ‘love hormone’) was faulty in the brains of offspring from obese mothers.

Oxytocin is important for bonding and social interaction.

The findings don’t prove cause and effect but do warrant more investigation.

First published: Apr 2019

Article sources and references

  • University of Otago, February 2019

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