biochemical marker of neglect
Everyday experiences affect countless tiny
genetic 'switches' in our DNA, which are turned on or off, by extension we
develop or successfully avoid all kinds of hereditarily influenced health
indicates brain size decreases 20-30% if a child is not talked to, touched,
or played with.
Startling differences in
hormone levels which
leave a biochemical mark linked to social bonding was found in children who
spent their first two years in Romanian or Russian orphanages by Seth Pollak.
The hormone, oxytocin, the peptide of compassion, works on brain
centers linked to reward and emotion.
The oxytocin levels of children
being reared by their biological parents increased when they
played a game with
their mothers but didn't increase when they
played the game with a
83% of the adopted children showed no rise in oxytocin
levels - whether playing the game
with their adoptive mother or a stranger.
Negative experiences in
childhood alter not only the psychology of an adult but also physical health
into middle age and
Duke University researchers found sustained health risks
stemming from childhood abuse,
neglect, social isolation, or
Adults who had been maltreated as children were
twice as likely to suffer major
depression and chronic inflammation.
Children who grew up poor or
socially isolated were twice as likely to show metabolic risk markers at age
"What we're learning is that poor adult health is, in part,
childhood. The human stress
response is implicated not only in psychological conditions but in other
health conditions as well. The more difficult the childhood, the more adult
age-related disease risk factors we see. It's multiple and cumulative childhood
experience that predisposes adults to poor health." - Avshalom
Researchers have found
compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular
variation of the oxytocin receptor gene.
Published in the journal
Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences, the findings by researchers at
the University of California, Berkeley, support other research showing that
oxytocin plays a major role in countering stress.
All humans inherit a
variation of this gene or "allele" from each parent.
The study looked
at the three combinations of gene variations of the oxytocin receptor.
The most empathetic - able to get an accurate read on others' emotions
- had two copies of the "G allele."
In contrast, members of the AA and
AG allele groups were found to be
less capable of putting
themselves in the shoes of others and more likely to get
stressed out in difficult
"New federally financed drug
research reveals a stark disparity: children covered by
Medicaid are given powerful
medicines at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have
Medicaid children are
more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions than their
diagnoses of mental or emotional problems in low-income families are also more
likely to be given drugs than receive family counseling or psychotherapy.
AntiPsychotic are the
single biggest drug expenditure for
Medicaid, costing the
program $7.9 billion in 2006.
Studies have found that children
in low-income families have a higher rate of mental health problems compared
with children in better-off families." - Duff Wilson, December 11, 2009
"These kids are not
getting other mental health services." - Dr. Mark Olfson
kids are subject to a lot of
stresses that lead to behavior issues which can be hard to distinguish from
more serious psychiatric
conditions. It's very hard to pin down." - Stephen Crystal
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