Recent Study by Patrizia Cassacia on the Effects of Extreme Weather on Mothers and Infants Featured by Popular Science

Popular Science has featured a recent study from the lab of ASRC Neuroscience Initiative Director Patrizia Casaccia on Climate change’s growing threat to the mental health of newborns whose mothers were victims of severe storms, floods, wildfires and other climate disasters.

“[…]pregnant people already suffering from depression who then experience the trauma of a perilous storm could pass on that trauma to their children and future generations — an ominous legacy of the hurricanes, floods, drought, and heat waves that have become more frequent or intense in recent years as a result of climate change.

“It’s important to realize that the effects of extreme climate changes and natural disasters might not be transient,” said Patrizia Casaccia, director of the neuroscience initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY). “They could have long-term consequences on the developing brain by changing the way genes are regulated and resulting in increased susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.”

Read the full article »