Maternal mental illness and associations with infant neurobehavior

Poster B35, Tuesday, October 9, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Cindy Liu1, Maria Henriksen1, Sara Cherkerzian2, Stephen Buka3, Jill Goldstein2, Larry Seidman1; 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Massachusetts General Hospital, 3Brown University

There are greater developmental impairments among offspring of those with schizophrenia compared with offspring of those with affective psychosis (Buka, Seidman, Tsuang, & Goldstein, 2013). It remains unclear, whether psychosis, or the social disadvantages and obstetric concerns that often accompany these disorders, leads to the infant developmental outcomes. We introduce two studies that shed light on stress reactivity as a potential mechanism for explaining neurobehavior among infants of parents with psychosis. In the New England Family Study, 188 mothers and their 237 offspring were identified. Mixed linear models, adjusted for obstetric complications, social disadvantage, and intrafamilial correlations between siblings, examined the effect of maternal psychosis type (non-affective psychosis - NP, affective psychosis - AP, Control) on offspring mental and motor development at 8-months. Adjusted analyses on mental scores revealed a significant group difference (F(2,199)=4.97, p=.008). NP infants had significantly lower scores (M=78.1, SD=5.2) relative to controls (M=81.2, SD=5.1), whereas AP infants (M=79.5, SD=5.2) showed no difference relative to the other groups. Adjusted analyses on motor development yielded a significant difference by group (F(2,199)=4.63, p=.01) with NP infants having lower scores on motor development (M=31.6, SD=4.3) relative to AP infants (M=34.0, SD=4.3), and controls (M=34.1, SD=4.3). We also describe a new ongoing study that directly measures physiological reactivity using cardiac measures among pregnant women with and without psychosis. Reactivity level and the ability to regulate stress among pregnant women with psychosis may reflect a highly stressed population over and beyond general risks of social adversity and obstetric experiences.

Topic Area: Neurodevelopmental

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