Impact of stress on the future posterity

Scientists have been observing for a long that children born from fathers who had lived through chronic stress, had a high tendency to psychiatric pathologies. Recent study, conducted by experts of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, showed that sperm formed under stress is defective. It leads to disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary regulation of those areas of brain that are responsible for psycho-emotional state. These results proved the hypothesis that chronic stress of father, resulting in changes in the germ cells, leads to abnormalities in the nervous system of a child.

It is interesting that there is another experiment, conducted in parallel with the first one, which is also devoted to the impact of parents’ stress on the next generation. Scientists from the University of Haifa in Israel have proved on mice that maternal stress during pregnancy affects offspring's genes, namely, causes changes in gene expression associated with the mechanisms of adaptation, first at the level of an egg, and then into the brain tissues of the offspring . "If only behavioral effects have been found as evidence of this fact so far, now we can see the changes on the genetic level," - explains Prof. Micah Leshem. Of course, mice - are not women, but it is quite possible that a similar mechanism is laid in human nature.


There is no secret that stress is a direct or indirect cause of many diseases, many of which seemed to stand away from the higher nervous activity in the body. As it turned out, it also affects human reproduction. In both experiments it was proved that stress causes worsening of the nervous system of an unborn child, but in case of pregnant women, the scientists have found danger of the changes at the genetic level.

So that, dear men and women before conception, as Bobby McFerrin sang, you better «Don't worry, be happy".