Mental Health Across Generations: pre-and post conception predicators of early life risks [ 2007 - 2010 ]

Also known as: Predicting birth and early life outcomes

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof George Patton (Principal investigator) ,  Prof John Carlin A/Pr Jeffrey Craig Prof Judith Lumley Prof Craig Olsson
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Brief description In 2003, mental illnesses were among the ten leading causes of disease burden in Australia, accounting for 13% of the total burden of disease, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health problems and mental illness are among the greatest causes of disability, diminished quality of life, and reduced productivity. People affected by mental health problems often have high levels of morbidity and mortality, experiencing poorer general health and higher rates of death from a range of causes, including suicide. These conditions are significant in terms of prevalence and disease burden, and have far-reaching impacts for families, carers and others in the community. Mental health problems commonly cluster in families. However, few studies have previously been able to investigate the range of ways in which mental disorders may pass from one generation to another. Further, evidence suggests that influences that arise prior to conception may have major effects on early life risks such as development in utero, birth outcomes and early maternal infant bonding. Mental Health across Generations: Pre- and post-conception predictors of early life risks is a unique study that will examine antenatal maternal mental health and risk behaviours during pregnancy. The study will also examine the links between prior maternal mental health and later birth outcomes, and post natal maternal infant bonding. The risk processes to be tested will include genetic, epigenetic (changes in gene expression), physiological and psycho-social parameters.

Funding Amount $AUD 666,231.77

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes A Healthy Start to Life (for All Australians)

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