Impact of Father’s Stress on Child’s Brain Development

According to a study conducted by Tracy Bale, professor of pharmacology at the University of Maryland School, which reveals that fathers taking too much mental stress may impact their sperms which could further alter the cognitive development and growth of their child.

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Have you ever been working for an extra number of hours or are you carrying too much stress back home? Here’s another reason why you must stop taking the stress and take a break and calm down. The piling mental stress may not just affect your overall health but also affect the development and growth of your offspring’s brain.

The study helps to look into the role played by fathers in the growth and development of the brain of their children. One of the previous studies was conducted over mice which reveals that adult male mice, experiencing chronic periods of mild stress, have offspring with a reduced response to the mental stress; changes in stress reactivity have been linked to some neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

After isolating the mechanism of the reduced response, researchers discovered that the father’s sperm, experience changes in its genetic material called microRNA. This genetic material or microRNA has a significant role, in which genes become functional proteins.

Through the study, the researchers were also able to discover new information about the microRNA changes. The findings revealed that the male reproductive tractvcaput epididymis is the structure where sperm matures, releases several tiny vesicles packed with microRNA that further fuses with sperm to change its cargo delivered to the female egg.

What is Stress?

Stress is basically a feeling of strain and pressure, stress is a type of psychological pain. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you.

Stress can also help you to overcome challenges. This is what draws your attention during a work presentation, sharpens your concentration when you try to win the free kick or gets you to study for an exam if you prefer to watch television. But at some point, stress ceases to be useful and begins to cause significant damage to health, mood, productivity, relationships, and quality of life.

Health Problems Caused Due to Stress:

There are several health-related problems that can be caused due to stress including;

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • The pain of any kind
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Reproductive issues
  • Skin conditions like eczema
  • Weight problems
  • Thinking and memory problems

Signs and Symptoms of Stress Overload:

There are several common warning signs and symptoms of stress overload including;

  • Memory problems
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problems
  • Eating more or less
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu [See also: Best Ways to Reduce Stress]

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