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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


GAVIRIA A, Silvia Lucía. Stress, neurodevelopment, psychopathology. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.2, pp.210-224. ISSN 0034-7450.

Objective: The objective of this revision is to examine recent literature in relation to the factors that produce stress in the pregnant mother which could affect her physical and mental health with possible repercussions in the neurodevelopment of the fetus. Method: A review was undertaken of relevants articles on MedLine and other scientific sources. Conclusion: Most of the mental and neurodevelopment disorders are not due only to one lineal cause; they are the result of the interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors. Maternal stress can be attributed to psychosocial factors, obstetric complications, psychiatric disorders, emotional response to pregnancy and other causes. These variables produce funemotional and physiological responses in the mother, these in turn, can influence the fetal wellbeing. The physiological and emotional responses of the mother to stressors are in turn reflected in physiological and metabolic changes, such as hypoxia, increase of cortical levels, malnutrition, the existence of toxic substances that may affect the maternal fetal unity and of course, the uterine environment. The fetus may respond in an adaptative or non-adaptative way. Only in the last decades we have been able to understand that our life outside the uterus is determined in great extent by the 40 weeks that we live inside it. There is enough evidence alluding to the fact that many of the neurological and behavioral disorders have their origins during life in the uterus.

Palavras-chave : Prenatal stress; uterine environment; neurodevelopment; psychopathology.

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