B4566 - Transgenerational influence of parental cardiometabolic health and depressive symptoms on child development - 10/04/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Jian Huang | Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) (Singapore)
Prof Dennis Wang, Dr Michelle Kee, Ms Jinyi Che, Ms Ai Ling Teh, Ms Pei Fang Tan, Dr Pan Hong, Dr Evelyn Lau, Dr Candida Vaz, Dr Varsha Gupta, Dr Priti Mishra
Title of project: 
Transgenerational influence of parental cardiometabolic health and depressive symptoms on child development
Proposal summary: 

Over the past three decades, there has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of mental disorders, which remain a leading cause of disease burden worldwide. Mental disorders in adulthood are found associated with poorer overall health and quality of life. Cardiometabolic mechanisms have been implicated in mental illness. For example, overweight and obese individuals are also more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness. Furthermore, perinatal depression and anxiety in mothers can influence offspring's cardiometabolic health and neurodevelopment. However, the effectiveness of parental interventions to improve offspring’s health outcomes is not conclusively established. Given these gaps in knowledge, the transgenerational effects of parental health warrant a more comprehensive investigation. In this project, we will use the ALSPAC cohort to investigate the transgenerational effects of parental cardiometabolic and mental health on offspring’s development. We will also investigate potential mediating pathways via early-life environmental and molecular mechanisms. This project will contribute to identifying potential targets for intervention and critical windows for interventions.

Impact of research: 
Given that parental cardiometabolic health and depressive symptoms may influence offspring’s development via both genetic transmission and genetic nurture, it is crucial to identify potential targets for intervention and critical windows for interventions. Our project will be able to provide insight into both by constructing parental genetic risk scores. By investigating paternal genetic risk, we will also be able to elucidate the role of paternal factors, which are often neglected. In addition, by investigating potential mediating mechanisms via early-life environmental factors, epigenetics metabolomics, and proteomics, this project will be able to provide insight into interventions targeting lifestyle behaviours and nutrition supplements. A better understanding of how multi-omic mechanisms are responsible for early-life cardiometabolic and neurocognitive health may also inform drug development for relevant health conditions in later life. Ultimately, this project has a high translational potential for the improvement of children’s development and its impacts may extend to general health in adulthood.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 12 March, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 March, 2024
Epidemiology, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Developmental disorders - autism, Cancer, Cognitive impairment, Diabetes, Learning difficulty, Mental health, Obesity, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Speech/language problem, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, Metabolomics, Microarrays, NMR, Proteomics, RNA, Statistical methods, Ageing, Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Expression, Fathers, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Genomics, Growth, Immunity, Intelligence - memory, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Neurology, Birth outcomes, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet, Offspring, Parenting, Physical - activity, fitness, function, Puberty, Sex differences, Speech and language, Statistical methods, Blood pressure, BMI, Cardiovascular, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Epigenetics