Mental illness may be passed to the next generation: study

Mental illness may be passed to the next generation: study

According to a recent study at the Uppsala University in Sweden and Helsinki University in Finland, it has been found that Mental illness associated with early childhood difficulties may be passed from one generation to another. The study included the adult, whose parents had to leave Finland during the time of world war two.
During the research, it was observed that daughters of female evacuees faced the same high risk in regard to mental health disorders like their mothers. However, the study failed to understand the possible causes for it.

The only possible explanation is that evacuees’ parenting behaviour reflected their trauma which led to epigenetic changes(chemical alterations in gene expression) without making a change in the DNA as reported by Indian express. According to Stephen Gilman, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US “Many studies have shown that traumatic exposures during pregnancy can have negative effects on offspring,”

Gilman who is the author of the study that was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry further added“Here, we found evidence that a mother’s childhood traumatic exposure – in this case, separation from family members during war – may have long-lasting health consequences for her daughters,”

The researcher informed that from 1941 to 1945, roughly 49,000 Finish children had to leave their homes to protect themselves from bombings, malnutrition and other hazards during the country’s wars with the Soviet Union. The researchers analyzed the risk of being hospitalised for a mental health disorder among offsprings.

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