Neuropsychiatric Disorders Linked to Stress During Puberty and Prenatal Insult

This study on mice revealed a relationship between prenatal infection and peripubertal stress, both previously shown in their respective ways to have a significant contribution to psychiatric disorders. Researchers found that mice with the combined environmental factors of both prenatal infection in the form of prenatal immune activation and an exposure to peripubertal stress, eventually exhibited behavior abnormalities in adulthood. More specifically, when mice with prenatal infectious histories, encountered stress during puberty, the stress was shown to have an increase on the pubescent mice’s vulnerability to changes in the brain immune functions. As a result, peripubertal stress seemed to have an effect in uncovering the neuropsychiatric and neuropathological impact and diseases associated with prenatal immune challenge. These findings suggest the powerful influence of prenatal infection and peripubertal stress on developmental mental illnesses and disorders that are so prominent within the human population.