Research shows that stress hormones during pregnancy promote early language development in children

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol during the third trimester of pregnancy can boost speech and language skills in a child’s first three years of life, according to research presented at the 25th European Congress of Endocrinology in Istanbul. The findings help us understand how cortisol affects fetal and newborn development. Early language development is an excellent predictor of how well a newborn’s neural system has developed in the womb. Prenatal exposure to cortisol, a steroid hormone that helps the body respond to stress, regulates fetal growth, and influences brain development. However, it is still unknown how cortisol affects early language development.
Researchers at Odense University Hospital reviewed data from the Odense Child Cohort on 1,093 Danish toddlers aged 12-37 months, as well as cortisol levels in 1,093 Danish women during their third trimester of pregnancy. They noted that while women understood more words between ages 12 and 21 months, boys exposed to high levels of cortisol in the womb were able to speak more syllables between ages 12 and 37 months. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between maternal cortisol levels and language development in children over time, also taking into account the sex of the offspring and the mother’s education level. says Dr. Anja Fenger Dreyer, who was involved in the study. .
She added: “We have had access to a large study cohort, high-quality analysis methods and relevant covariates, making our study an important contribution to the physiological understanding of prenatal cortisol exposure in fetal maturation and child development. ” The team will next assess whether children exposed to high cortisol in the womb are more likely to have higher intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. In addition to the data on maternal cortisol levels and early language development, the Odense Child Cohort also has data on intelligence tests performed by children as young as 7 years old.

“Early language development in children is known to be a predictor of cognitive function later in life, such as attention, memory and learning, so we want to investigate whether prenatal exposure to cortisol is also associated with IQ scores of 7-year-old children.” said Dr. Fenger Dreyer. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Research shows that stress hormones during pregnancy promote early language development in children

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