If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Child Abuse Alters Stress-Fighting Gene, Study Says


Childhood abuse can permanently alter the way a key stress-fighting gene works, leaving victims more vulnerable to stressful events throughout their lives, new research reveals.

Scientists compared the brains of suicide victims who had been abused as children with the brains of non-abused suicide victims and people who died of other causes.

"It seems that we see in the genome the mark of childhood abuse," said study co-author Moshe Szyf of Montreal's McGill University. The finding was published this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

*Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News*

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