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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-49

Epigenetic Modifications Due to Childhood Trauma Causative of Potential Mental and Physical Disorders


Department of Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, SRM Nagar, Kattankulathur, 603203, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

Correspondence Address:
J. Megala
Department of Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, SRM Nagar, Kattankulathur, 603203, Kanchipuram, Chennai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_74_20

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The early years of life are when brain and behavioral development are most impacted by the environment. Children need to be in a nurturing environment with responsive and sensitive caretakers to ensure normal development. Findings have shown that traumatic events that occur during these stages tend to have lasting effects that extend to adulthood. Epigenetic modifications of the genes and receptors involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have been shown to be the link between early life adversities (ELAs) and the increased risk of disease in adulthood. In this review, we have discussed the effect of ELAs on child development and its associated disorders in later life. We have also highlighted certain prominent genes involved in the stress response that have been reported to be epigenetically regulated in response to ELAs. As the detrimental mental and physical health consequences of ELAs have been well documented, we have also included reports that validate the hypothesis that ELAs increase the risk of depression and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in adulthood. Learning how these epigenetic modifications could occur in early stages, can help us in discovering new therapeutic interventions to reverse these effects by expressing or inhibiting the genes. Also, studying the interrelation between biological and psychological systems will provide an opportunity to improve treatment outcomes.


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