How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime


HowChildhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

HowChildhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime By Dr. Nadine Burke

Question:Is it easy to get over childhood trauma as you grow up?

Dr.Nadine Burke’s argument in the video “How Childhood TraumaAffects Health across a Lifetime” asserts that it is not easy toget over childhood trauma. Speaking during the TED Talk show, Burkeexplains that neglect and substance abuse influence the DNA readingof youngsters. Equally, parents suffering from mental health issuesaffect the development of the brain and the immune system inchildren. Families exposed to high doses of trauma have the risk ofdeveloping lifetime ailments such as lung cancer and heart diseases.

Alarge population of children diagnosed with Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has a history of traumatic experiencesin the families. Research by Dr. Vince Felitti and Dr. Bob Anda showsthat hostile childhood experiences such as emotional, sexual, orphysical abuse, parental substance abuse or mental illness, domesticviolence and neglect affect children even in adulthood. Individualswith an ACE score of four and above have two and a half prospectivehigher of suffering from hepatitis and chronic obstructive pulmonarydiseases. Similarly, they are twelve times more likely to commitsuicide, four, and half times at risk of suffering from depression(Ted Talk, 2015). Individuals with an ACE score of seven or more arethree and half times more at risk of ischemic heart disease and threetimes likely suffering from lung cancer.

Exposureof children to traumatic experiences affects their nucleus accumbens,a brain segment responsible for pleasure and reward, which preventsthe prefrontal cortex from performing its executive and impulsecontrol functions. Such children are likely to engage in high-riskbehavior or develop cancer and heart diseases. MRI scans often showsignificant variance in amygdala, the fear response segment of thebrain. The hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and adrenalin respond tobody stress. Therefore, if they are continually activated it affectsthe brain function and structure, hormonal, and immune system.

ReferenceTedTalk. (2015,Feb. 17). “Howchildhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine BurkeHarris.” YouTube,