Adversity early in life takes its toll on one's chromosomes: A study of 100 Romanian children found that the more time children spend in institutional orphanages before the age of 5, the shorter their telomeres.
While previous studies have found that telomere length in adulthood correlated with self-reported childhood stress, the new linkurl:research,;http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp201153a.html published today (May 17) in Molecular Psychiatry, is the first to quantify the immediate impact of early life hardship on telomere length."This is an exciting study with sound methodology that adds to the very recent body of work demonstrating effects of childhood adversity on telomere shortening," linkurl:Audrey Tyrka,;http://research.brown.edu/research/profile.php?id=1127415688 who was not involved with the study and studies human behavior and psychiatry at Brown University, said in an email to The Scientist. "[It] is of great interest because it focuses on institutionalized children who are...
Image: Wikimedia commons
S.S. Drury et al., "Telomere length and early severe social deprivation: linking early adversity and cellular aging," Molecular Psychiatry, doi: 10.1038/mp.2011.53, 2011.Biological Psychiatry 67PLoS ONEJournal of Developmental and Behavioral PediatricsJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?