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Maternal obesity in pregnancy is associated with neurobehavioral problems in the offspring. Establishing causality has been challenging in existing human studies, due to confounding by genetic and postnatal environment. Animal experiments can improve our understanding of this association. This systematic review examined the effects of maternal obesity in pregnancy on offspring neurobehavior in animal models. We included 26 studies (1047 offspring animals). Meta-analyses showed that offspring of obese mothers displayed higher levels of locomotor activity (standardized mean difference (SMD) .34 [.10;.58]) and anxiety behavior (SMD .47 [.16;.79]) than offspring of lean mothers, but similar memory abilities (SMD -.06 [-.52;.39]). Meta-analysis of learning abilities was not sensible due to heterogeneity. Although the evidence was heterogeneous and the quality of the included studies generally unclear, this systematic review of animal studies indicates an effect of maternal obesity on increased offspring locomotor activity and anxiety, but not on offspring memory performance. These findings may be important from a public health perspective since obesity is rapidly increasing worldwide, and warrant further research.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
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Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.
Prolonged separation of the offspring from the mother.
Review of the medical necessity of hospital or other health facility admissions, upon or within a short time following an admission, and periodic review of services provided during the course of treatment.
Multi-step systematic review process used for improving safety by investigation of incidents to find what happened, why it happened, and to determine what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
Transmission of genetic characters, qualities, and traits, solely from maternal extra-nuclear elements such as MITOCHONDRIAL DNA or MATERNAL MESSENGER RNA.
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