Thyroid hormones during pregnancy could predict how emotionally and behaviorally troubled young boys will be, according to a new study.
A new study in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy may indicate preschool boys’ emotional and behavioral issues.
Normal brain and nervous system development are dependent on adequate thyroid hormone levels.
During the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy), a baby is dependent on its mother’s supply of thyroid hormone, which is delivered via the placenta.
During pregnancy, maternal thyroid hormone levels, such as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4), fluctuate, and both high and low maternal thyroid hormone levels can have an impact on children’s behavioral development.
“Our findings highlight the significance of close monitoring and management of maternal thyroid function during pregnancy,” says Kun Huang, Ph.D., of the Anhui Medical University in Anhui, China. “This research presents a new perspective in early intervention of children’s emotional and behavioral problems.”
The Ma’anshan Birth Cohort in China provided the researchers with 1860 pairs of mothers and infants to study. Throughout the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, the researchers tested thyroid hormone levels on a regular basis.
When the children were four years old, the researchers followed up with the families and had them fill out a checklist to assess their behavioral issues.
The researchers discovered that boys born to moms who had high thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy were more likely to be withdrawn, exhibit behavioral issues, and be anxious or depressed. Thyroid hormone levels, both moderate and low, were linked to aggressive conduct in preschool boys.
Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
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