Paternal early life stress impacts brain maturation in offspring

Takeaway

  • There is an association between cumulative paternal early life stress (ELS) and white matter (WM) maturation in offspring.

Why this matters

  • Recent animal studies have correlated paternal early stress exposure with next-generation outcomes, and epigenetic inheritance via the male germline is postulated to be a mechanism for this; however, to date, no studies have tested this in humans.

  • The association of paternal ELS with WM maturation may impact research into predictive and susceptibility markers for both pediatric and adult neuropsychiatric disorders, and neurological disorders in which WM connectivity plays a role.