Nov, 2020 - By WMR
According to a new study led by the researchers of University of Zurich have suggested that individuals who encounter traumatic experiences during childhood have negative impact on their mental and physical health. Moreover, researchers have informed that the traumatic experience might impact mental and physical health of their offspring and further generations. Researchers also noted that this form of inheritance, sperm and egg cells pass on information to offspring not through their DNA but involve biological factors such as epigenome that controls activity of the genome.
Isabelle Mansuy from University of Zurich's Brain Research Institute and the ETH Zurich's Institute for Neuroscience stated, “Our hypothesis was that circulating factors in blood play a role. These findings are extremely important for medicine, as this is the first time that a connection between early trauma and metabolic disorders in descendants is characterized”.
In the study, researchers involved a mouse model for lab developed early trauma, where the researchers investigated upon how the effects of trauma in early postnatal life on male mice are communicated to their offspring. Moreover, researchers performed several analyses, in order to conclude whether these early encounters have an impression on blood composition and observed notable differences between blood from adult traumatized animals and blood from normal, non-traumatized control group.
Researchers observed significant alteration in in lipid metabolism with certain polyunsaturated fatty acids metabolites in higher concentrations in the blood of male mice that underwent trauma, and similar changes were also observed in their offspring. Furthermore, researchers also investigated about similar effects are present in humans by collecting a cohort of 25 children and analyzed their blood and saliva. These children had lost their father and were separated from their mother. Later, researchers found that orphaned children exhibited higher level of several lipid metabolites, similar to mice, in comparison to children from normal families, indicating that childhood trauma not only impacts mental and physical health in adulthood but this impacts metabolism across generations.