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Title: Sleep deprivation during late pregnancy produces hyperactivity and increased risk-taking behavior in offspring
Authors: Radhakrishnan, A
Aswathy, BS
Kumar, VM
Gulia, KK
Keywords: Adolescent; Anxiety; Body weight; Hyperactivity; Third trimester
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Publisher: Brain Research.
Citation: Brain Research. 2015;1596:88-89
Abstract: Sleep deprivation in women resulting from their modern lifestyle, especially during pregnancy, is a serious concern as it can affect the health of the newborn. Anxiety disorders and cognitive deficits in the offspring are also on the rise. However, experimental studies on the effects of sleep loss during pregnancy, on emotional development and cognitive function of the newborn, are scanty in literature. In the current study, female rats were sleep-deprived for 5h by gentle handling, during the 6 days of the third trimester (days 14-19 of pregnancy). The effects of this sleep deprivation on anxiety-related behaviors of pups during their peri-adolescence age were studied using elevated plus maze (EPM). In addition to body weights of dams and offspring, the maternal behavior was also monitored. The weanlings of sleep-deprived dams showed heightened risk-taking behavior as they made increased explorations into the open arms of EPM. They also showed higher mobility in comparison to the control group. Though the body weights of sleep-deprived dams were comparable to those of the control group, their newborns had lower birth weight. Nevertheless, these pups gained weight and reached the control group values during the initial post-natal week. But after weaning, their rate of growth was lower than that of the control group. This is the first report providing evidences for the role of sleep during late pregnancy in shaping the neuropsychological development in offspring.
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