The study used electroencephalogram (EEG) recording to measure brain electrical activity during sleep, and properties of the cortical network were calculated using advanced mathematical techniques.
“In previous studies, we have shown that changes in cortical activity across sleep states can provide important information about the neurological status of infants.“Said senior researcher Anton Tokariev.
Research has demonstrated that exposure to antiepileptic drugs and antidepressants during fetal life leads to extensive changes in cortical networks, and these effects may be specific to the type of exposure. medicine.
In the case of antidepressants, the effect is more apparent in local cortical networks. In contrast, exposure to antiepileptic drugs had drug-specific effects on the whole brain network. Both drugs affect brain networks that respond to changes in sleep stages.
“What is clinically significant in the finding is that some of the EEG findings are associated with later neuropsychiatric development in children. Stronger changes in neural networks predict greater developmental deviation by two years of ageMari Videman, a pediatric neurologist at HUS Helsinki University Hospital.
Shines a new light on early brain development
The studies offer a whole new way to assess the impact of drugs on developing brain function in children.
“The EEG measurement technique developed at the BABA Center and its associated state-of-the-art mathematical evaluation of the brain’s neural networks has resulted in breakthroughs in clinical research into early neurodevelopment.“Professor Sampsa Vanhatalo said.
It is particularly important, Vanhatalo, that these EEG-based measures unlock a mechanism of action between neurons.
This presents an opportunity to compare the results observed in human children with research conducted using an experimental-animal model. Such translation work is needed to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of drug action. For example, identical animal studies are required to study how the amount or duration of drug treatment in the mother will affect the brain function of the offspring.
“Our new methods provide a common analytical framework to support future extensive research on questions of how fetal brain development is affected by changes in the environment field in the uterus. Such studies may extend beyond drug therapy to the mother, including the mother’s nutrition and overall physical condition, as well as a multitude of other environmental factors.“Vanhatalo summary.