Listen to Dr. Tracy Bale comment on the microbiome in pregnancy at 2016 Harvard Probiotic Symposium.
Dr. Tracy Bale MD, Professor of Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine presented “How Prenatal Stress can Program the Neonatal Brain” at 2016 Harvard Probiotic Symposium in September.
Her research focuses on stress responses in neurological development and sex differences underlying disease vulnerability.
“Stress in early pregnancy changes vaginal microbiome which is transmitted to offspring in the mouse model,” said Bale. Intriguingly, 2nd generation mice are also affected, she reported.
In earlier work from 2015, she cited maternal stress as a cause of maternal vaginal Lactobacillus which corresponded with sex-specific disruptions of amino acids in the developing brain. These changes may predispose to neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorders. Males are more at risk for these changes.
“It has become increasingly evident that the adverse effects of a sub-optimal environment in early life can be transmitted to subsequent generations, apparently via non-genomic mechanisms,” reported Bale in Nature Reviews. Neuroscience.