Pre- and post-natal maternal depressive symptoms in relation with infant frontal function, connectivity, and behaviors

Ni Ni Soe, Daniel J. Wen, Joann S. Poh, Yue Li, Birit F.P. Broekman, Helen Chen, Yap Seng Chong, Kenneth Kwek, Seang Mei Saw, Peter D. Gluckman, Michael J. Meaney, Anne Rifkin-Graboi, Anqi Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the relationships between pre- and early post-natal maternal depression and their changes with frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and functional connectivity in 6- and 18-month olds, as well as externalizing and internalizing behaviors in 24-month olds (n = 258). Neither prenatal nor postnatal maternal depressive symptoms independently predicted neither the frontal EEG activity nor functional connectivity in 6- and 18-month infants. However, increasing maternal depressive symptoms from the prenatal to postnatal period predicted greater right frontal activity and relative right frontal asymmetry amongst 6-month infants but these finding were not observed amongst 18- month infants after adjusted for post-conceptual age on the EEG visit day. Subsequently increasing maternal depressive symptoms from the prenatal to postnatal period predicted lower right frontal connectivity within 18-month infants but not among 6-month infants after controlling for post-conceptual age on the EEG visit day. These findings were observed in the full sample and the female sample but not in the male sample. Moreover, both prenatal and early postnatal maternal depressive symptoms independently predicted children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors at 24 months of age. This suggests that the altered frontal functional connectivity in infants born to mothers whose depressive symptomatology increases in the early postnatal period compared to that during pregnancy may reflect a neural basis for the familial transmission of phenotypes associated with mood disorders, particularly in girls.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152991
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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