Damage to Sperm and Mental Health of Children due to Stress

By  , Daily Mail
Jun 14, 2013

cartoon image of sperm

New study has revealed that stress could cause permanent damage to man’s sperm and even cause his children’s brain to develop slowly. Researchers working on this have discovered that suffering from anxiety or depression as an adult, teenager or even as a child could cause lasting genetic change in a man's sperm.

The study that was conducted on mice found that the damage to sperm that is caused by stress also leads to offspring developing a blunted reaction to stress, which is in fact a trait that is associated with several mental disorders. The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have said that this is the first time any link has been really found between stress related diseases that are potentially being passed from a father to his children. Examples of stress include suddenly being moved to another cage, and being exposed to predator odour, any sort of noise or a foreign object in their cage.

Professor Bale said: 'It didn’t matter if dads were going through puberty or in adulthood when stressed before they mated. We’ve shown here for the first time that stress can produce long-term changes to sperm that reprogram offspring brains.”

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