Health News | Study reveals how infant microbiome influences early childhood behavior in boys and girls


Hanover [US]Jan. 2 (ANI): New research has found a direct, gender-specific association between infant microbiome makeup and early childhood behavioral health.

The research has been published in the “Pediatric Research Journal”.

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Previous studies have linked the gut microbiome – the global communities of microbes that colonize the intestinal tract and play important roles in immune system development and health outcomes – and behaviors like depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But until now, there has been little or no human data to characterize the role of the microbiome during infancy in relation to these findings in children, and how they may differ in boys and girls.

“A lot of previous research has looked at participants who already have symptoms of depression or anxiety,” said Hannah Laue, ScD, associate researcher at the Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth and the study’s first author.

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“We wanted to look really early, before these behaviors were expressed, to see if we could establish whether the microbiome was influencing neurobehaviour or if it was the other way around,” she added.

Focusing on early childhood has also allowed researchers to study a critical window of time, Laue said, when the microbiome and brain go through their fastest developmental periods, and when the brain may be particularly sensitive to changes in the body. microbiome.

To determine whether differences in the infant’s microbiome were related to neurological behavior and whether this behavior varied in boys and girls, the study team drew on the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study, which was established in 2009 to study the role of environmental factors on pregnancy and the newborn. results. Through initiatives led by Drs of Dartmouth. Juliette Madan and Margaret Karagas, the cohort involved longitudinal monitoring of the developing microbiome beginning at birth to understand its influence on the health and well-being of children.

For the study, the researchers analyzed stool samples (collected by caregivers) from 260 infants at multiple times – six weeks, one year, and two years. This allowed them to characterize the species of microbes present in each participant’s gut and their functions. They then used the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, an instrument that measures a wide range of clinical and adaptive behaviors in children and young adults, to assess their behavioral development.

The study team was able to establish that the changes in the microbiome occurred before the changes in behavior. They also found that infant and early childhood microbiomes were linked to neurological behaviors such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and social behaviors in a time and gender specific way.

“For example, we found that increased diversity in the gut was better for boys, meaning it was associated with fewer behaviors like anxiety and depression, but not in girls,” he said. Laue said.

“We saw differences in social behaviors with the microbiomes measured at later stages, where there was evidence that diversity, again, could be beneficial for boys but not for girls. And we found it to be beneficial. There were differences in certain species of bacteria and the essential functions they perform – such as vitamin B synthesis – which were also linked to these results, ”she added.

Their findings fail to identify a microbial species that can be immediately used to help prevent children from developing neurobehaviors such as anxiety or depression.

“We believe the results inform future studies that may take a little more in-depth look at some of our specific findings and clarify whether they could be developed as probiotics or other types of interventions such as breastfeeding promotion. maternal, ”Laue said. (ANI)

(This is an unedited, auto-generated story from the Syndicated News Feed, the staff at LatestLY may not have edited or edited the body of the content)


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