How The Effects Of Trauma Can Be Passed Down From One Generation To The Next

Experiencing trauma early in childhood can lead to mental health problems in adolescence and adulthood, but mild to moderate trauma could also have an unexpected upside for some survivors, making them better able to cope with stressful situations later in life.

Previous research has shown that the behavioral effects of trauma can be passed down to the next generation — but this research had only demonstrated that this transmission takes place with trauma’s negative effects, such as depression. Now a study on mice, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that the adaptive benefits of trauma might also stay alive in families through the years.

The University of Zurich researchers identified the molecular mechanisms by which the effects of trauma are transmitted from one generation to another. In some cases, the silver lining of a traumatic episode — that is, learning to better cope with stress — can also be passed down.

“This study builds on our previous work in mice showing that exposure to traumatic stress during early life has detrimental effects on behavior across generations — it induces depression, antisocial behaviors, memory impairment, etc.,” the study’s lead researcher, neuroepigeneticist Isabelle Mansuy, —> Read More Here


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