Mother's experience 'can impact offspring behaviour'

The life experience of a mother can have an effect on the biology of her offspring, according to new research.

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted studies on animal models which showed that parental behaviours, even long before a pregnancy, can have an effect on the memory capabilities of a child.

Testing on mice showed that those exposed to a stimulating environment had enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP), which was also present in their future offspring.

Larry Feig, lead author of the study, said the findings demonstrated that "maternal experience can impact offspring behaviour".

He added: "A striking feature of this study is that enrichment took place during pre-adolescence, months before the mice were even fertile, yet the effect reached into the next generation."

A team of researchers from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands recently found that the success rate of IVF treatment is not impacted on if a woman shows symptoms of anxiety or depression, Reuters Health reported.