According to experts at the University of Virginia, the use of antidepressants during gestation may collude with inflammation to increase the risk of lifelong neurodevelopmental abnormalities in the brains of infants.
The research appeared in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
The study focused on a specific class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Experts suggest that SSRIs can induce serious consequences when infection and inflammation are factored in.
“Our results might help to explain the rise in autism prevalence over the last 20 years, as this time coincides with the rollout of widespread SSRI usage in the developing world,” the authors wrote in their findings.
“This highlights the importance of considering the entire prenatal environment, as drugs designed to dampen inflammation may lead to unanticipated consequences on the baby if they are combined with other modulators, such as SSRIs.”