Morning Symposium - Mental Health Professional Group - Nature and Nuture: Epigenetics and Prenatal Environment
Time:11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Location:Room 4 - San Diego Convention Center
Shelly S. Lee, Ph.D. (Chair), New York University Langone Medical Center
Catherine Monk, Ph.D., Columbia University
Benjamin Tycko, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University
Nature and Nuture: Epigenetics and Prenatal Environment - Implications for the Mental Health Professional
Needs Assessment and Description
Epidemiologic and animal research data along with
controlled experimental observations provide key
information on how “fetal programming” and intrauterine
conditions during prenatal development play important
roles in development and lifetime health. Changes to the
fetal cellular environment can affect gene expression during
the formation of tissues and organs, which can result in longrange
effects on function during childhood and adulthood.
This live session for clinicians and scientists interested in
reproductive medicine will help participants become
familiar with the concept of fetal programming and relevant
At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able
- Describe the concept of fetal programming and how it
may affect mental health outcomes in the offspring.
- Discuss animal, human observational and epidemiological
research, which suggests that maternal distress is a risk
factor for children’s neurobehavioral development.
- Discuss epigenetic research that suggests pathways by
which maternal prenatal distress may alter children’s
mental health outcomes.
- Define the role of classical parental imprinting in neonatal
growth and behavior.
Which one of the following is a methodological weakness in
the current “fetal origins” studies that weakens the impact
of the results?
- Use of the same source for independent and
- Study children were not interviewed about their
perception of their development.
- Socioeconomic status was not taken into account.
- Large cohort samples were rarely used.