September 29, 2010
Absent Mothers Can Cause Hyperactivity And Anxiety Later In Life
In mice, early weaning and separation from their mothers promotes long-lasting hyperactivity and anxiety . Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience describe the development of this new behavioral model, which they hope to use to investigate the long-term effects of early childhood neglect in people.
Arthur Simen and a team of researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, USA, tested their 'Maternal separation with early weaning' (MSEW) model in a group of 80 male mice. He said, "Childhood adversity, in the form of abuse and neglect, is prevalent throughout the world and poses a significant public health problem. Unfortunately, the underlying molecular mechanisms of the consequences of early life neglect remain largely unknown. To address this, we devised a method of maternal separation that combines several published protocols in order to increase the likelihood of observing a reliable behavioral effect while minimizing fatalities to the developing offspring".
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