Recent research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louise, US, suggests that pregnant women who eat a diet high in fat and sugar during pregnancy increase their child’s risk of having heart issues in the future.
For their study, the researchers used a mouse model. They found that most of the children of obese mouse mothers who ate an unhealthy diet had an increase in weight of the left ventricle, a part of the heart that pumps blood out of the heart.
Co-senior author Dr. Abhinav Diwan, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University, comments: “The cardiac abnormalities seem to dissipate somewhat over the generations, which is intriguing. There were also differences in male and female hearts that we can’t explain yet. In many ways, this study presents more questions than it answers, and we plan to continue studying these mice to help answer them.”
According to the findings of a recent research, published in the JNeurosci, regular talking to young children associated with the stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language.
The research was held independently of parental income and education. This means that engaging children in a conversation from an early age may promote their language skills regardless of socioeconomic status.
For the study, the team of researchers analyzed data received from 40 of children aged from 4 to 6 years. The scientists discovered that greater conversational turn-taking was associated with the stronger connections between brain regions that are critical for the comprehension and production of speech (Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area).
Last year a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US, developed a simple blood test for diagnosing ASD (autism spectrum disorder). At the present moment, a follow-up study confirms the original finding.
In this test, there is an algorithm that takes into account the presence and concentration of numerous chemicals in the blood associated with ASD.
To make the test more predictive, the scientists worked with children divided into several groups within the existing studies. Using the test, they found 154 aged from 2 5o 17 years.
Systems biologist and senior author Juergen Hahn says: “This is an approach that we would like to see move forward into clinical trials and ultimately into a commercially available test.” She also adds: “We were able to predict with 88% accuracy whether children have autism.”
A new German study, published in the journal Cell Reports, suggests that parents may boost the intelligence of their offspring by exercising.
The research, using a mice model, showed that active mice are more likely to have offspring with the higher ability to learn compared to mice whose movement was restricted. German researchers identified that “microRNA” molecules which were known to promote this neuron connectivity in the brain, as well as in the sperm, in response to exercise.
Study author Professor André Fischer from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease says: “Presumably, [miRNA212 and miRNA132] modify brain development in a very subtle manner improving the connection of neurons. This results in a cognitive advantage for the offspring.”
A new research from the UK has discovered a link between the higher risk of stillbirth and a common sleep position adding to the growing body of evidence that mothers to be should try sleeping on side during the last trimester.
For the research, a team of scientists interviewed 1024 women from 41 maternity hospitals across the UK and found that 291 of them had a stillbirth late in pregnancy.
Lead study author Alexander Heazell, an obstetrician at Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, University of Manchester, says: “Stillbirth is devastating, with long-lasting effects on bereaved parents. Parents want to know why their baby has died, whether it might happen again if they try for another baby and what they can do to avoid further stillbirth. We believe that identifying, and avoiding, risk factors that are strongly associated with stillbirth will reduce the number of babies who are stillborn.”