Prenatal dopamine and neonatal behavior and biochemistry.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Depressed pregnant women (N=126) were divided into high and low prenatal maternal dopamine (HVA) groups based on a tertile split on their dopamine levels at 20 weeks gestation. The high versus the low dopamine group had lower Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) scores, higher norepinephrine levels at the 20-week gestational age visit and higher dopamine and serotonin levels at both the 20- and the 32-week gestational age visits. The neonates of the mothers with high versus low prenatal dopamine levels also had higher dopamine and serotonin levels as well as lower cortisol levels. Finally, the neonates in the high dopamine group had better autonomic stability and excitability scores on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale. Thus, prenatal maternal dopamine levels appear to be negatively related to prenatal depression scores and positively related to neonatal dopamine and behavioral regulation, although these effects are confounded by elevated serotonin levels.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Field, T; Diego, M; Hernandez-Reif, M; Figueiredo, B; Deeds, O; Ascencio, A; Schanberg, S; Kuhn, C

Published Date

  • December 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 590 - 593

PubMed ID

  • 18774177

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2610266

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1934-8800

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.infbeh.2008.07.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States