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CeFH Genetics Friday: Associations between maternal depressive symptoms and risk for offspring early-life psychopathology


Presentation by Line Gjerde, Norwegian Institute of Public Health


About Genetics Fridays

Genetics Fridays are held every Friday at the Centre of Fertility and Health. This is an informal venue for all employees at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and collaborators who are working with genetics, planning to implement genetics in their work, or merely have an interest in genetics. There is room for presentations and/or discussions, where participants can share knowledge and experience, come up with ideas and discuss projects and methods. The big meeting room at the centre (room 201) is reserved every Friday from 13.00-14.00, available for meetings or discussions. Some Fridays there will be presentations on selected topics, methods or projects. These presentations will be announced in our event calendar. We make waffles for everyone at 12.30!

Contact Kristine Løkås Jacobsen if you have ideas on interesting topics we can address, or if you want to present something yourself.

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14. Jun 2019 - 13:00-14:00 | Seminar
Marcus Thranes gate 2, meeting room 201, 2nd floor

About the presentation

Although maternal depressive symptoms are robustly associated with offspring early-life psychopathology symptoms, it is not clear which potential mechanisms are at play. We aimed to estimate the relative importance of 1) genetic transmission and 2) direct environmental exposure in these associations at three occasions in early childhood using biometric modeling of maternal sisters and their offspring from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Associations between maternal depressive symptoms and offspring psychopathology symptoms remained after accounting for shared genes, consistent with a small, causal effect. For offspring emotional problems, this effect appeared to increase in importance over time. Our findings imply that treatment of maternal depressive symptoms could also benefit the offspring, and that genetic confounding should be considered in future studies of such mother-offspring associations.