Monday, October 31, 2011

Stressed dad = depressed children? Investigating the paternal transmission of stress

The article explored a study that explored the link between a father's stress level in his life and the effects that this would have on the children. The study wanted to know whether stress, anxiety, or depression would exist at higher levels if the father of the offspring was stressed. The study determined that the father's stress did play a role. Although environment was most significant factor for the development of stress, epigenetics did play a bit of a role--at least in mice. The next step is to see whether or not the finding will still hold true in humans. In the past, studies have looked at maternal stress levels only. The paternal stress levels had a greater effect on mice who were born naturally; this suggested that behavioral influence was more significant.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! Check out this article for a similar study done on maternal depression and offspring stress:

    I'm glad someone is starting to study males. Spermatogenesis occurs across lifetime, compared to females where oogenesis is done very early prenatally. This means that there is some wiggle room for male germ cells to change over time while female germ cells are "set" prenatally. There are still two waves of demethylation to go through whether you are a sperm or an egg, but it's possible that sperm are more sensitive to lifetime environmental perturbations than eggs are.