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Antenatal depression: Risks of cognitive impairment and psychopathology in the offspring

Sophie Grigoriadis, MD, MA, PhD, FRCPC
Section Editors
Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Antenatal depression is associated with cognitive impairment and psychopathology in the offspring. The cognitive dysfunction includes delay in acquiring language skills. In addition, the risk of aggressive behavior, anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity is increased in the offspring of depressed mothers, compared with the offspring of nondepressed mothers.

This topic reviews the association between antenatal depression and cognitive impairment and psychopathology in the children. The association between antenatal depression and pregnancy and neonatal outcomes as well as abnormal infant and child development is discussed separately, as are the risks of prenatal antidepressants, and the clinical features, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of antenatal depression:

(See "Antenatal depression: Pregnancy and neonatal outcomes".)  

(See "Antenatal depression: Risks of abnormal infant and child development".)

(See "Antenatal use of antidepressants and risk of teratogenicity and adverse pregnancy outcomes: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 14, 2016.
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