Choline: A New Prenatal Supplement to Improve a Child’s Mental Health

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 2:00 pm EDT
Meet the Scientist - September 2019

Choline is an essential nutrient that, amongst other things, plays a key role in the fetal brain developing well while still in the womb. Even so, one mother in five does not get enough choline in her diet during pregnancy. Our team has conducted clinical trials in which expectant mothers were given choline, via supplements, starting in the second trimester of pregnancy and continuing until birth. Results so far suggest that children born to mothers receiving choline supplements during pregnancy have significantly lower risk of developing serious brain disorders such as schizophrenia. Dr. Hoffman will discuss this and other dietary strategies that have evidence to suggest that they may help prevent serious mental illness in our children. Learn more about Dr. Hoffman's research: Steps to Take Before, During, and After Pregnancy to Help Assure the Child’s Mental Health

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Presented by 
M. Camille Hoffman, M.D., MSc
M. Camille Hoffman, M.D., MSc
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Associate Professor, Departments of Ob-Gyn & Psychiatry

2015 Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research (Maltz Prize)

Dr. Hoffman’s research into the fetal origins of mental illness, including schizophrenia, ADHD and autism, seeks to understand how positive and negative factors in human pregnancy influence maternal health, and critical periods of fetal and early childhood brain development based on evidence that some neurodevelopmental disorders manifest decades after a trajectory of abnormal brain development begins in utero. Dr. Hoffman has championed a partnership between the obstetrics and psychiatry departments, and modeled new methods of fetal ultrasound, fetal physiology, and in utero stress hormone exposure to directly assess the mechanisms by which these factors contribute to an increased risk of fetal programming of mental illness. Her goal is to find pregnancy interventions that will improve maternal-child mental health outcomes for women and their children.

Moderated by 
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

President and CEO

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy Award-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host of the series. The program, which is broadcast nationwide, focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.