A recent study found out that pregnant women who take anti-depressants may give birth to children with short attention spans.
The researchers found that children were at an increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if their mothers were prescribed anti-depressants during pregnancy.
The research that was conducted by the doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital in U.S. studied 7,800 children aged between 2 and 19 years.
It was found that children whose mothers popped antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to suffer from ADHD, which is a condition associated with impulsiveness, restlessness and hyperactivity.
However, if the mother had stopped taking the pills before they became pregnant, the risk of her child suffering from ADHD reduced significantly.
It has been found that 1 in every 7 pregnant women suffer from depression during pregnancy.
The research that was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry cautioned that it was very important to attain a balance between the risk of ADHD and the risk of depression in pregnant women.
The authors of the study write ‘maternal depression during pregnancy is associated with health complications for both the mother and child.’
‘Discontinuation of antidepressants during pregnancy can increase the risk of relapse fivefold.’
During the research, the authors studied 2,200 children with ADHD and 5,600 healthy children. The study found out a `modest risk’ of ADHD in children who were exposed to antidepressants in the womb.
The research also found that there was no increased risk of a child suffering from autism if the mother was on antidepressants. This finding challenged the previous beliefs that the antidepressants could cause the social disorder.
Lead author of the study Roy Perlis said that the findings of the study should not discourage pregnant women from taking the prescribed medication. He added that the end to belief about a link between autism and drugs was significant.
He says ‘we know that untreated depression can pose serious health risks to both a mother and child, so it’s important that women being treated with antidepressants who become pregnant, or who are thinking about becoming pregnant, know that these medications will not increase their child’s risk of autism.’
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News source: dailymail.co.uk
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