RaMaVa (2011-2016) was a research project that studied the effects of maternal antidepressive medication on the development of newborn brain function. The project was led by Dr. Mari Videman, and it comprised a part of her PhD project.
Duration: 2011 – 2016
Depression and anxiety are commonly treated with SSRI drugs. These are not seen to cause major malformations. The study involved 22 mothers using SSRI medication during pregnancy and 62 controls without medication. The study examined the effects of SSRI exposure directly on the newborn brain activity, which allowed assessment of fetal effects independent of postnatal environmental effects.
The study found that only minor differences can be seen in the behavioral or neurological assessments of the newborns; however, brain electrical activity exhibited several slight differences between the study groups, including changes in communication between brain hemispheres, as well as in synchronization between cortical rhythms.
Newborn Brain Function Is Affected by Fetal Exposure to Maternal Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Mari Videman; Anton Tokariev; Heini Saikkonen; Susanna Stjerna; Hannu Heiskala; Outi Mantere; Sampsa Vanhatalo. Cerebral Cortex 2016; doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw153 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27269962