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Delivery method 'can influence baby's brain development'
The way in which a baby is born can have an impact on how its brain develops in the future, a new study has revealed.
According to research carried out at the Yale School of Medicine, published in PLoS ONE, natural births trigger the expression of UCP2 - a mitochondrial uncoupling protein.
However, the process is diminished when the caesarean section delivery method is used.
Tamas Horvath, lead researcher on the study, noted that UCP2 can play a critical role in the "development of brain circuits and related behaviours".
This means that the method mothers choose for giving birth could have a long-term effect on their child.
Mr Horvath commented: "The increasing prevalence of c-sections driven by convenience rather than medical necessity may have a previously unsuspected lasting effect on brain development."
UCP2 is important in the development of hippocampal neurons and circuits, which controls memory and plays a part in the cellular metabolism of fat.
Posted by Alexandra George
World Congress 2015