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Share The adversities experienced in childhood accelerate aging

Eva Paris @paris_eva

How it affects a difficult childhood to adulthood is still studied, although clear consequences are known emotionally. But there are also physical consequences. The adversities experienced at an early age accelerate the aging of cells .

These adverse situations affect the chromosomes of children, shortening prematurely the tips of their chromosomes, known as 'telomeres'. The shortening of telomeres can generate degenerative health consequences, including premature aging.

This is indicated by a study carried out by the Boston Children's Hospital and the Tulane University, in the United States, which is the first to find an association between the adversities and the length of telomeres in children. We spoke to you of these conclusions a few days ago, and today we return to the subject to deepen on it.

The studies were conducted on Romanian children admitted to psychiatric hospitals. The analyzes showed that the time these children spent in conditions of social isolation and abandonment was related to a lower IQ and behavioral problems.

This research, published by "Molecular Psychiatry", is part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP), which is developing a long-term clinical trial that follows two groups of children admitted to psychiatric care : those who remain in this institution and those They were transferred to foster homes at different ages.

The scientists examined DNA samples collected from saliva samples of Romanian children, 62 children and 47 girls. They found that less care in these institutions for longer than their fifth birthday had a significantly shorter telomere length, compared to that expected for their age, between six and ten years.

The researchers explain that the telomere protects the chromosome, so advancing the moment in which it loses length is related to a cut in life expectancy. Theories of aging and carcinogenesis are based on the fact that telomeres are like the clocks or timers of the cell, since they mark the number of cell divisions, until the cell dies.

Several previous studies in adults have already associated short telomeres with cognitive defects and with high rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Other studies have found telomeres that are shorter than normal in adults who had experienced difficulties, abuse or serious illnesses in their childhood.

In short, a difficult childhood causes premature aging but also a lower IQ and behavior problems. A situation in which hopefully no child would be engulfed and that certainly should be avoided as much as possible if we want them to be healthy and happy adults.

Via | 20 minutes Photo | zaxl4 on Flickr-CC More information | Molecular Psychiatry in Babies and more | Chronic fatigue is related to childhood traumas, traumas in pregnancy affect the child's mental health, child depression: symptoms