Anchor lead: Negative events in childhood can have lasting consequences, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Did you suffer trauma as a child? Perhaps not a war, or incarceration in a refugee camp, but how about if we expand the definition of trauma to include things like parental divorce, or bullying, or family alcoholism? Donna Jackson Nakazawa, who gave a presentation recently at Johns Hopkins on the long term impact of childhood trauma on adult health, explains.
Jackson Nakazawa: When children experience early adversity, the brain responds the same regardless of what the source of that adversity is. The brain responds in a way and the immune system responds in a way that changes the way in which we respond to stress for the rest of our lives. That sets forth an inflammatory process in which the human immune system becomes set on a high inflammatory response, and this leads to greater likelihood of disease. :30
Jackson Nakazawa is the author of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.