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Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Compromised immune system in pregnancy can make you susceptible to the flu

I know there has been some worry about getting the flu vaccine in pregnancy, but the actual flu may be problematic as well.  Flu season is right around the corner so this information could be timely for pregnant women.
 Pregnant women are thought to have a somewhat compromised immune system which is the body's way of protecting the pregnancy.  This is so your own immune system doesn't attach the embryo thinking it's a foreign intruder.


In pregnancy, the flu may affect a fetus and their brain
This article is scary because it talks about flu in pregnancy and even though it was done in monkeys,
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it may show us how flu could affect a human fetus and their brain.

THE brains of monkeys whose mothers had flu while pregnant resemble those of people with schizophrenia. The finding backs up studies in people that suggest flu in mothers-to-be affects the brain of the developing fetus.

Previous research had found that the children of women who caught flu while pregnant are more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. To investigate further, Sarah Short and Chris Coe at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, infected 12 pregnant rhesus monkeys with mild flu.

Their 19 offspring seemed to develop normally. Yet MRI scans of the 1-year-old juveniles - equivalent in age to a 5 to 7-year-old human child - revealed that their brains had features similar to those seen in people with schizophrenia, including less grey matter in the cortex and enlarged ventricles. Monkeys whose mothers had not had flu did not have these features (Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.11.026).

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