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Father's Psycho-Social Stress Causes Behavioral Birth Defects In Children

Update Date: May 16, 2016 07:29 AM EDT

The latest research reports on the linkage between the various birth defects found in children and their father have revealed that the lifestyle changes and anxiety experienced by the father affect his children's behavior the most. It has been reported that the psycho-social stress on the father is linked to defective behavioral traits in his offspring.

Besides, there are reports that other reasons like father's age, obesity and alcohol usage are also responsible for many birth defects in his children. "Advanced age of a father is correlated with elevated rates of schizophrenia, autism, and birth defects in his children," reported The Mirror. "A limited diet during a father's pre-adolescence has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular death in his children and grandchildren."

Further, the study has also revealed that the overweight conditions in fathers' lead to various harmful defects in his children like obesity, diabetes, metabolic changes, enlargement of fat cells and even development of brain cancer.

Also, if the father consumes a high amount of alcohol, then his children are prone to suffer from birth defects like impaired cognitive function, decreased birth weight and reduction in brain size. According to the expert professionals, many new-born babies can be diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) due to the drinking problem of the fathers, even though the mothers' have never had alcohol.

According to the research's senior investigator and an associate professor of biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, Joanna Kitlinska, the hyper-anxiety condition experienced by the father also affects the family's future generations as well.

"We know the nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring," said Joanna, as reported by Irish Independent. "But our study shows the same thing to be true with fathers: his lifestyle, and how old he is, can be reflected in molecules that control gene function. In this way, a father can affect not only his immediate offspring but future generations as well."

Besides, the research also pointed towards the link between the fathers and the heritable epigenetic programming. These epigenetic environmental effects are reported to change the DNA activity of inherited genes passed on by the fathers to their children.

"This new field of inherited paternal epigenetics needs to be organized into clinically applicable recommendations and lifestyle shifts," said Kitlinska, as reported by Science Daily. "And to really understand the epigenetic influences of a child, we need to study the interplay between maternal and paternal effects, as opposed to considering each in isolation."

The examination was conducted by the researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center.

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