For some time now there's been much conjecture about vaccinations, including whether to have a flu shot. There is the long running argument about drugs crossing the placental barrier (and autism); the various strains of influenza and which vaccination to choose; and risk vs. reward including costs...
New research shows that if a woman has the flu during pregnancy, her child has a nearly 4-fold increased risk of having bipolar disorder later in life.
"We now have evidence that maternal influenza is related to increased risk of bipolar disorder in the offspring," study co-investigator Alan Brown, MD, told Medscape Medical News. "This suggests that prevention of influenza during pregnancy could reduce the risk of bipolar disorder."
Dr Brown, a professor of clinical psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, conducted the study with researchers from the New York State Psychiatric Institute, also in New York City; Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, California; and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa.
The findings were published online May 8 in JAMA Psychiatry. These results lend further support to the possibility of a viral cause of certain psychiatric disorders. Dr Brown and his collaborators earlier found that the risk for schizophrenia increases with foetal exposure to maternal influenza virus (Arch Gen Psychiatry 2004;61:774-780).
For 25% off the sticker price of the new DSM-V please visit The Human Condition Bookstore in Melbourne.