It’s not just dad’s premature baldness or mom’s cute nose that children can inherit, apparently. Anxiety and depression could be among the genetic gifts passed on – in the male of the species’ sperm – as a result of stress felt by dad at any stage of his life, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say. The result is a blunted reaction to stress in children, a response linked to several mental disorders.
The findings are published in a study involving mice in the Journal of Neuroscience. “It didn’t matter if dads were going through puberty or in adulthood when stressed before they mated,” said research leader Tracy L Bale.
The next step is to determine to what extent sperm indicators can be used as biomarkers in human diseases.
Source: University of Pennsylvania