Early life stress may take early toll on heart function
This image shows Dr. Catalina Bazacliu, Georgia Regents University, who showed that early life stress may take early toll on heart function. Credit: Phil Jones, GRU Photographer
Early life stress like that experienced by ill newborns appears to take an early toll of the heart, affecting its ability to relax and refill with oxygen-rich blood, researchers report.
Rat pups separated from their mothers a few hours each day, experienced a significant decrease in this basic heart function when – as life tends to do – an extra stressor was added to raise blood pressure, said Dr. Catalina Bazacliu, neonatologist at the Medical College of Georgia and Children's Hospital of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. Bazacliu worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Pollock, biochemist in the Section of Experimental Medicine in the MCG Department of Medicine.
The relaxation and filling rate remained low in the separation model, although decreases stabilized by ages two and six months, as the rats neared middle age. Both the model and controls experienced decreases in those functions that come naturally with age.
Interestingly, the force with which the heart ejected blood remained unchanged with the additional stressor, angiotensin II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels. Echocardiography was used to evaluate heart function.
"We expected the heart's ability to relax and refill to lag behind in our model," said Bazacliu, whose research earned her a Young Investigator Award from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research. She is reporting her findings Feb. 22 during the Southern Regional Meetings in New Orleans, sponsored by the society as well as several other groups including the Southern Section of the American Federation for Medical Research.
"We believe these babies may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and we are working to understand exactly what puts them at risk," Bazacliu said. She believes hers is the first animal study of this aspect of heart function.
Dr. Analia S. Loria, assistant research scientist in Pollock's lab and also a co-author on the new abstract, has shown that the blood pressure of maternally separated rats goes up more in response to angiotensin II and their heart rates go higher as well. Normally, a compensatory mechanism drives the heart rate down a little when blood pressure goes up.
Work by others has shown persistent blood vessel changes in the early stress model, including increased contraction and reduced relaxation when similarly stressed.
Longitudinal studies in humans have shown long-term cardiovascular implications, such as babies born to mothers during the Dutch famine of World War II, growing up at increased risk for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes, obesity and other health problems.
Bazacliu's earlier studies in a similar animal model indicated that babies whose growth was restricted in utero by conditions such as preeclampsia – maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy – were at increased risk of cardiovascular disease as adults. This was true whether the babies were born prematurely or at full term. Increased pressure during development reduces blood flow from mother to baby; reduced nutrition and oxygen to the baby is considered an environmental stress.
Bazacliu's interest in early life stress grew out of the reality that, while obviously intended to save premature and otherwise critically ill newborns, neonatal intensive care units can further stress these babies. "All the procedures we must do, the separation from the mother, the environment, even though the babies need the help, it represents a stress." NICUs such as the one at Children's Hospital of Georgia work to minimize negative impact with strategies such as open visiting hours, minimalizing noise and other family-centered care strategies.
Bazacliu came to MCG in 2011 from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Provided by Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
- Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease Feb 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke raises blood pressure in infants Jul 30, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- High blood pressure during pregnancy may signal later heart disease risk Feb 11, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Low birth weight may increase risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and diabetes Oct 01, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Discovery may bring special treatment for male babies Mar 25, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
4 hours ago Alright, so in Pathfinder (like Dungeons and Dragons) there's a spell that allows you to lift/move stuff within 25 ft with 5 pounds of force. A...
6 hours ago So energy can only be converted... So when you squeeze the bulb on a blood pressure cuff, you are applying kinetic energy. Then the cuff fills with...
How does momentum, inertia and drag affect the motion of an object?
9 hours ago How does momentum and inertia affect changes in speed, when considering acceleration from thrust, or from decelleration from drag? Say, for a...
What is Time-Varying Voltage?
10 hours ago In circuits, we have no problem saying that the voltage difference between two point is [itex]\cos(\omega t)[/itex], but what does that actually...
Contextual Relationships Between Momentum, Energy, and Force.
12 hours ago *I apologize in advance for the length of this post, if you wish to reduce reading skip to paragraph 5. Or if you are super lazy, the final...
Barometric pressure and the math behind it. Very interesting, I think.
13 hours ago Hey guys, I was actually researching the life of Edmond Halley and discovered that he discovered the relationship between barometric pressure and the...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Blood levels of free fatty acids are associated with insulin resistance during young adulthood and cardiovascular risk factors in later adulthood, according to a study published online May 13 ...
Cardiology 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
An experimental, inexpensive iPhone application transmitted diagnostic heart images faster and more reliably than emailing photo images, according to a research study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality ...
Cardiology 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure traditionally used during cardiac surgeries and in the ICU that functions as an artificial replacement for a patient's heart and lungs, has also been used to resuscitate ...
Cardiology 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Age has little to do with how patients should be treated after suffering a stroke, according to new research from the University of Georgia.
Cardiology 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Depressed middle-aged women have almost double the risk of having a stroke, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Cardiology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
18 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
15 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |