Maternal depression and prenatal exposure to methamphetamine: neurodevelopmental findings from the infant development, environment, and lifestyle (ideal) study

Depression and Anxiety, 05/10/2012

Maternal depression is associated with neurodevelopmental patterns of increased stress and decreased quality of movement, suggesting maternal depression influences neurodevelopment in infants as young as 1 month.

Methods

  • Four hundred twelve mother–infant pairs were enrolled (MA = 204) and only biological mothers with custody of their child were included in the current analysis.
  • At the 1-month visit (n = 126 MA-exposed; n = 193 MA-unexposed), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) was administered, and the NNNS was administered to the infant.
  • Exposure was identified by self-report and/or gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy confirmation of amphetamine and metabolites in newborn meconium.
  • Unexposed subjects were matched, denied amphetamine use, and had negative meconium screens.
  • General Linear Models tested the effects of maternal depression and prenatal MA exposure on NNNS, with significance accepted at P < .05.

Results

  • The MA group had an increased incidence of depression-positive diagnosis and increased depression scores on the BDI-II.
  • After adjusting for covariates, MA exposure was associated with increased arousal and handling scores, and a decreased ability to self-regulate.
  • Maternal depression was associated with higher autonomic stress and poorer quality of movement.
  • No additional differences were observed in infants whose mothers were both depressed and used MA during pregnancy.

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