Dr. Amy Salisbury published an article on the American Journal of Psychiatry (Am J Psychiatry 173:2, February 2016) entitled "The Roles of Maternal Depression, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Treatment, and Concomitant Benzodiazepine Use on Infant Neurobehavioral Functioning Over the First Postnatal Month." The article was on the cover of the Journal and was accompanied by an editorial.
Please read Dr. Lester and his colleagues' recent publicantion, "Epigenetic Programming by Maternal Behavior in the Human Infant." They looked at more than 40 full-term, healthy infants and their mothers, one-half of whom breastfed for the first five months and one-half of whom did not. They measured the cortisol stress reactivity in infant saliva using a mother-infant interaction procedure and the DNA methylation (changing the activity of the DNA segment without changing its sequence) of an important regulatory region of the glucocorticoid receptor gene which regulates development, metabolism, and immune response. According to Dr. Lester, "Breastfeeding was associated with decreased DNA methylation and decreased cortisol reactivity in the infants. In other words, there was an epigenetic change in the babies who were breastfed, resulting in reduced stress than those who were not breastfed."
Dr. Barry Lester was interviewed by Daniel Keating of the Child and Family Blog and featured in their blog. The interview discussed how parenthood policies could prevent early stress from causing epigenetic changes in children.
Please read our recent publication, where we found that the single greatest contributor to long-term neurobehavioral development in preterm infants is maternal involvement— and that a single-family room NICU allows for the greatest and most immediate opportunities for maternal involvement resulting in improvements in neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 months
The Care New England's Psychiatry Research Division at Butler Hospital and its Autism Research Unit at Women and Infants Hospital have joined forces with the state's leading neuroscience research institutions to significantly advance the understanding and treatment of such brain-centered disorders and diseases as autism, epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury. To read more about this promising collaboration, click on the PDF