Hard experiences and neglect of mental health in childhood extend their influences to the next generations. A team of scientists from the Brain Research Institute, within the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich (Switzerland), demonstrated that the child trauma it is related to the composition in the blood and metabolic disorders of the offspring.
The study was published in the specialized medium The EMBO Journal and is entitled “Participation of circulating factors in the transmission of paternal experiences through the germ line”.
At the beginning of the exhaustive summary it is detailed that the traumatic stress It can be transmitted in biological signals that are embedded with germ cells, those that are responsible for composing the eggs and sperm.
Isabelle Mansuy, professor of neuroepigenetics at the aforementioned institute, said that the finding is important for medicine, because it is the first link between metabolic disorders and the epigenome – regulator of the genetic material of DNA and vehicle of the history of an organism transmitted to another body – of people who have suffered early trauma.
Mansuy and the expert group used an early postnatal trauma mouse model “based on unpredictable maternal separation combined with maternal stress.” “The mice exposed […] they have metabolic dysfunctions and behavioral deficits that are transmitted to their offspring through several generations ”, they added in the article.
Added to this, the team observed changes in the biochemical reactions of lipids – such as cholesterol and triglycerides, two energy stores – specifically, in a class of fatty acids that increased their presence in the bloodstream of traumatized male mice , a posteriori, in his lineage.
When they injected the serum intravenously from the affected mice to other healthy rodents, the same thing happened: the symptoms were linked to the emission of signals towards the eggs and sperm, as they conjectured. Later, they found that in humans the result was almost similar.
The researchers explained that, in humans, traumatic separation involves paternal loss and maternal separation in early childhood, 6 to 12 years of age.
The conclusions of the experiment with mice were also evaluated in 26 children from an SOS Children’s Village in Pakistan. They lost their father and were separated from their mother the previous year, coincidentally.
There were exclusion criteria in the selection of participants: history of abuse and traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability or cerebral palsy.
“This human cohort (parallel inquiry) is very relevant to our study because children SOS have been exposed to comparable trauma at a comparable age ”, reads the second appendix of results written by the experts.
They later added: “All SOS children live in the same orphanage, so the differences in lifestyle factors are minimal.”
All Pakistanis traumatized in the same way were analyzed together with children from conventional families. It was detected that the orphaned minors suffered from the same metabolic diseases as the mice affected. Given this, Mansuy stressed the importance of inspecting animals to cross information with human tests.
The relevance is even greater if it is considered that a quarter of minors worldwide have experienced episodes of violence or abuse.
To give an idea, in the United States alone, according to the independent national organization Child Mind Institute, 17.1 million children “have or have had a metal disorder, more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. “
Where do childhood traumas come from?
The portal Somos Psicólogos Madrid, an informative and multidisciplinary association of professionals in Spain, maintains that, although childhood traumas are subjective, there are repetitive cases of origin:
– Having suffered an accident
– Having suffered or suffer bullying
– Belonging to a dysfunctional family
– Divorce of parents
– Social exclusion
Childhood trauma: what are the most recurrent symptoms?
We are Psychologists Madrid advises that parents and relatives of the potential affected remain alert, as a large number of signs could go unnoticed:
– Feeling of sadness
– Not wanting to attend school for no apparent reason
– Nervousness and anxiety
– Sleep and eating disorders
– Fear of harmless issues
– Uncontrolled emotions
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