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Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on neurodevelopment

Dennebos, R. (2016) Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on neurodevelopment. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biomedical Sciences.

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The neurotransmitter and neurotrophic factor serotonin is involved in many processes in multiple brain regions. During mammalian development, serotonin can regulate the formation of serotonergic and non-serotonergic circuitry which are important for the maturation of these brain regions. Disruption of serotonin signalling during development may affect the wiring of the brain which can result in abnormal behaviour in the offspring. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used as anti-depressant treatment and they are also used to treat depression during pregnancy. The precise effects of SSRI treatment on the developing child are not clear, both short and long term, and a significant amount of research has been done trying to understand the risks and effects of SSRI use during pregnancy. One factor that is most likely important for treatment of depression is the period of neurodevelopment in which the child is exposed to SSRIs. Exposure to SSRIs in specific developmental stages may affect the developing child differently. Therefore these drugs may have a variety of effects on specific brain regions which may result in different behavioural outcomes. However, distinguishing between depression and SSRI effects on the developing child is important for exactly understanding the possible risks that SSRI may bring. Importantly, not only serotonin levels of the developing child should be considered as both placental and maternal serotonin levels can be found in the developing brain. Therefore, placental and maternal serotonin signalling may be important for the neurodevelopment of the child as well. To which extent and how precisely SSRIs can affect neurodevelopment however still remains elucidated.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biomedical Sciences
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:11
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:11

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