Oxytocin During Labor Not Linked With ADHD Development


The results of a large population-based registry study did not find any link between moms whose labor was medically augmented with oxytocin and children who develop attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

According to lead author Lonny Henriksen, MscPH, research unit for women and children's health, at the Julianne Marie Centre at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues, out of the over 25 percent of women whose deliveries included medical augmentation of labor, only 0.9 percent of children were identified as having ADHD.

This lead them to conclude that they "found no association between augmentation of labor and ADHD in the offspring."

Prior studies on whether or not there was a link, and if so the nature of that link, had produced mixed results.

This research group began their work with the hypothesis that oxytocin did have an effect on the child's brain, since pre-clinical studies demonstrated that oxytocin passes from the mother to the fetus via the placental barrier. The question then became whether exposure in a relatively brief phase of a person's life (labor and birth) might have lifelong effects on a person's mental health.

Source: MedPage Today

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