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Open AccessArticle

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Children after Antenatal Maternal Depression Treatment, a Longitudinal Study Built on a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Amsterdam UMC, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Parent-Infant Research Institute, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia
4
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
5
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne Brain Centre, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia
6
Department of General Practice, Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion regulation (ICPE), University Medical Center Groningen, 9712 CP Groningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101816
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 19 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
Antenatal depression is associated with an increased risk of offspring neuro-developmental disorders, potentially as a consequence of an altered brain development in utero. We hypothesized that reducing maternal depression by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) during pregnancy may ameliorate the offspring’s brain (micro)structural outcomes. 54 pregnant women with a diagnosed clinical depression were randomly allocated to CBT or Treatment as Usual (TAU), showing moderate to large depression symptom improvements after CBT. In 16 of their children (69% boys, N(TAU) = 8, N(CBT) = 8, mean age = 5.9 years, range = 3.9–7.1 years) brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans were conducted. Children from the CBT group had a thicker right lateral occipital cortex (difference: 0.13 mm, 95% CI = 0.005–0.26) and lingual gyrus (difference: 0.18 mm, 95% CI = 0.01–0.34). In the CBT group, Voxel-Based Morphometry analysis identified one cluster showing increased gray matter concentration in the right medial temporal lobe at p < 0.05 uncorrected, and fixel-based analysis revealed reduced fiber-bundle cross-section in the Fornix, the Optical Tract, and the Stria Terminalis at p < 0.01 uncorrected. However, none of the results survived correction for multiple testing. Our explorative analyses provided some indication that antenatal CBT for depression may ameliorate offspring’s brain (micro)structural outcomes, but the sample size was extremely small, and our results should be cautiously interpreted. Larger studies are warranted to confirm our preliminary conclusions that CBT for antenatal depression affects brain development in children. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging; brain; cognitive therapy; embryonic and fetal development; depression; anxiety; child development magnetic resonance imaging; brain; cognitive therapy; embryonic and fetal development; depression; anxiety; child development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bleker, L.S.; Milgrom, J.; Parker, D.; Gemmill, A.W.; Holt, C.J.; Connelly, A.; Burger, H.; Roseboom, T.J.; de Rooij, S.R. Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Children after Antenatal Maternal Depression Treatment, a Longitudinal Study Built on a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101816

AMA Style

Bleker LS, Milgrom J, Parker D, Gemmill AW, Holt CJ, Connelly A, Burger H, Roseboom TJ, de Rooij SR. Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Children after Antenatal Maternal Depression Treatment, a Longitudinal Study Built on a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(10):1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101816

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bleker, Laura S.; Milgrom, Jeannette; Parker, Donna; Gemmill, Alan W.; Holt, Christopher J.; Connelly, Alan; Burger, Huibert; Roseboom, Tessa J.; de Rooij, Susanne R. 2019. "Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Children after Antenatal Maternal Depression Treatment, a Longitudinal Study Built on a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 10: 1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101816

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