Untreated Depression and Zoloft Use During Pregnancy Can Slow a Baby's Development

October 20, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
(New York, NY, October 20, 2012) The Rottenstein Law Group, which represents clients with claims stemming from injuries and birth defects caused by the antidepressant Zoloft, is alerting the public to the results of a recent study that suggests mothers who take Zoloft or another antidepressant in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of drugs, run the risk of hampering the progression of their baby's speech development during early childhood. The study also indicates that untreated depression during pregnancy could have a similar effect on speech development.

According to a story published on October 11, 2012 on the medical information Web site, MedPageToday.com, a study conducted at the University of Vancouver in British Columbia, and published online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Web site, showed that children born to mothers with both untreated depression, and depression that was treated with a medication like Zoloft during pregnancy, ran a greater risk of giving birth to a child with delayed speech development. When the mothers' depression went untreated, babies were born with the inability to discriminate non-native language at six months of age. They did, however, acquire this skill by ten months of age. Infants born to mothers who took an antidepressant during pregnancy, on the other hand, could not discriminate non-native language at six or ten months. Moreover, infants who were exposed to their mother's depression or an SSRI like Zoloft, also showed altered consonant and vowel discrimination in utero at 36 weeks gestation, the study claims.

"These findings are particularly compelling when we consider that the timing of speech perception development is typically considered to be maturationally delimited," the study authors commented.

"What is unknown at this time, and of key clinical importance, is whether these small perturbations in critical period timing of core perceptual components of language acquisition have a lasting impact. To date, there are no published reports of language delay in infants or young children with SSRI exposure."

While the study authors are unsure about the lasting effects of depression, and treatment with Zoloft or another SSRI during pregnancy, Zoloft has been proven to cause a number of birth defects in children born to women who have taken the drug while pregnant.

The Rottenstein Law Group urges anyone whose child suffered birth defects as a result of the child's mother taking Zoloft during pregnancy to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer. The firm's Zoloft Lawsuit Help Center, at www.zoloftlawsuitcenter.net, contains social media features that allow for easy sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter, which enables visitors to spread the word about the potential dangers associated with Zoloft. (Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)

About The Rottenstein Law Group
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients nationwide in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, who has more than two decades of experience as a lawyer, to represent clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action lawsuits in a compassionate manner.