Early-Life Stress and Epigenetic Alterations

Kermit Cole
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Chilean researchers find that early life stress is related to epigenetic alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the neuroendocrine system, and serotonergic neurotransmission, as well as to an increased susceptibility to physical and mental illnesses. The authors conclude that epigenetic regulation is involved in the interplay between nature and nurture, and could explain abnormal behaviors secondary to early stress events. The article is available for free in Acta Neuropsychiatrica.

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Ventura-Junca, R., Herrera, L.; Epigenetic Alterations Related to Early-Life Stressful Events. Acta Neuropsychiatrica. Online August 30, 2012.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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