What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

This 2018 German human study found: “DNA methylation in a biologically relevant region of NR3C1-1F [glucocorticoid receptor gene] moderates the specific direction of HPA-axis dysregulation (hypo- vs. hyperreactivity) in adults exposed to moderate-severe CT [childhood trauma]. In contrast, unexposed and mildly-moderately exposed individuals displayed moderately sized cortisol stress responses irrespective of NR3C1-1F DNA methylation. Contrary … Continue reading What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

This 2018 Canadian paper reviewed evidence for potential sex-specific differences in the lasting impacts of childhood trauma: “This paper will provide a contextualized summary of neuroendocrine, neuroimaging, and behavioral epigenetic studies on biological sex differences contributing to internalizing psychopathology, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, among adults with a history of childhood abuse. Given the … Continue reading Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

DNA methylation and childhood adversity

This 2017 Georgia human review covered: “Recent studies, primarily focused on the findings from human studies, to indicate the role of DNA methylation in the associations between childhood adversity and cardiometabolic disease in adulthood. In particular, we focused on DNA methylation modifications in genes regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the immune system.” Recommendations … Continue reading DNA methylation and childhood adversity

Prisoners of our childhoods

Same old shit – another failed relationship. Coincident with the start of our relationship, I was struck by a phrase by Dr. Janov, posted in Beyond Belief: What we do instead of getting well: “It doesn’t matter about the facts we know if we cannot maintain a relationship with someone else.” I kept that thought … Continue reading Prisoners of our childhoods

Does childhood trauma influence offspring’s birth characteristics?

This 2016 Swedish human study investigated the effects of one specific childhood trauma, parental death: “Parental (G1) death during (G2) childhood predicts prematurity and lower birthweight in the offspring generation (G3). This response is dependent on G2 gender, G2 age at exposure and G3 parity, but not on G3 gender. Offspring of women who lost … Continue reading Does childhood trauma influence offspring’s birth characteristics?

The current paradigm of child abuse limits pre-childhood causal research

As an adult, what would be your primary concern if you suspected that your early life had something to do with current problems? Would you be interested in effective treatments for causes of your symptoms? Such information wasn’t available in this 2016 Miami review of the effects of child abuse. The review laid out the … Continue reading The current paradigm of child abuse limits pre-childhood causal research

A problematic study of oxytocin receptor gene methylation, childhood abuse, and psychiatric symptoms

This 2016 Georgia human study found: “A role for OXTR [oxytocin receptor gene] in understanding the influence of early environments on adult psychiatric symptoms. Data on 18 OXTR CpG sites, 44 single nucleotide polymorphisms, childhood abuse, and adult depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed in 393 African American adults. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), a … Continue reading A problematic study of oxytocin receptor gene methylation, childhood abuse, and psychiatric symptoms

A study of stress factors and neuroplasticity during infancy/early childhood

This 2015 French rodent study found: “The coordinated actions of BDNF and glucocorticoids promote neuronal plasticity and that disruption in either pathway could set the stage for the development of stress-induced psychiatric diseases. Genetic strategies that disrupted GR [glucocorticoid receptor] phosphorylation or TrkB [the BDNF receptor] signaling in vivo impaired the neuroplasticity to chronic stress … Continue reading A study of stress factors and neuroplasticity during infancy/early childhood

Grokking an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score

What does it take to empathetically understand, to make a part of oneself, to grok an ACE score? The ACE effort was initiated in 1985 in an era before epigenetics was well-studied. Its artifacts included the ACE pyramid: The historical ACE lifespan continuum on the left began at conception. The pyramid on the right promoted … Continue reading Grokking an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score

The critical period for some aspects of human sight can be extended past childhood

This 2013 human study provided further details of critical periods in human development. The study subjects were: “11 children enrolled in a humanitarian and scientific effort in India that provides corrective surgery to children with treatable cataracts and subsequently studies their visual abilities.” The researchers found: “The human visual system can retain plasticity beyond critical … Continue reading The critical period for some aspects of human sight can be extended past childhood

Problematic research: Feigning naivety of the impact of prenatal, infancy and early childhood experiences

What I found curious in this 2012 UK review of 82 studies was the reviewer’s reluctance to highly regard a human’s life before birth, during infancy, and in early childhood. There was no lack in 2012 of animal studies to draw from to inferentially hypothesize how a human fetal environment causes the fetus to adapt … Continue reading Problematic research: Feigning naivety of the impact of prenatal, infancy and early childhood experiences

Is this science, or a PC agenda? Problematic research on childhood maltreatment and its effects

This 2013 Wisconsin human study’s goal was to assess effects of childhood trauma using both functional MRI scans and self-reported answers to a questionnaire. The families of the study’s subjects (64 18-year-olds) participated with researchers before some of the teenagers were born. How could the teenagers give answers that described events that may have taken … Continue reading Is this science, or a PC agenda? Problematic research on childhood maltreatment and its effects

Early emotional experiences change our brains: Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampus

This 2011 human study by the grandfather of hippocampus stress studies, Martin Teicher, quantified childhood maltreatment using the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire scores: “The strongest associations between maltreatment and volume were observed in the left CA2-CA3 and CA4-DG [dentate gyrus] subfields, and were not mediated by histories of major depression or … Continue reading Early emotional experiences change our brains: Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampus

Clearing out the 2020 queue of interesting papers

I’ve partially read these 39 studies and reviews, but haven’t taken time to curate them. Early Life Intergenerational Transmission of Cortical Sulcal Patterns from Mothers to their Children (not freely available) Differences in DNA Methylation Reprogramming Underlie the Sexual Dimorphism of Behavioral Disorder Caused by Prenatal Stress in Rats Maternal Diabetes Induces Immune Dysfunction in … Continue reading Clearing out the 2020 queue of interesting papers