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Roughly three in every five Canadian adults aged 45 to 85 have been exposed to childhood abuse, neglect, intimate partner violence, or other household adversity, say, researchers, including an Indian-origin.
The research, published in CMAJ Open, showed that more than one in four adults reported exposure to physical abuse and one in five reported exposure to intimate partner violence and emotional abuse in childhood.
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“Our research showed that adverse childhood experiences are highly prevalent in the Canadian population, with 62 percent of Canadian adults aged 45 to 85 reporting at least one exposure,” said lead author Divya Joshi from the McMaster University.
For the study, the team used data collected from nearly 45,000 participants enrolled in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a large, national population-based study of health and aging.
The participants completed questionnaires about adverse childhood experiences through telephone and face-to-face interviews between 2015 and 2018.
Childhood exposure to physical abuse, intimate partner violence, and emotional abuse was the most prevalent types of adverse childhood experiences reported across all participants.
The researchers also found that reporting of adverse childhood events varied by demographic factors, such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, education, and sexual orientation.
People younger than 65 years, women, those with less education, lower annual household income, and those of non-heterosexual orientation reported greater exposure.
“We found that adverse childhood experiences were highly prevalent across all demographic groups, although some groups experienced an unequal or greater burden,” Joshi said. (IANS/KB)
Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter your microbiome for life, even if you later learn to eat healthier, a new study suggests. The microbiome refers to all the bacteria as well as fungi, parasites, and viruses that live on and inside a human or animal.
Most of these micro-organisms are found in the intestines, and most of them are helpful, stimulating the immune system, breaking down food, and helping synthesize key vitamins, the researchers said in the mice-based study.
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“We studied mice, but the effect we observed is equivalent to kids having a Western diet, high in fat and sugar and their gut microbiome still being affected up to six years after puberty,” said researcher Theodore Garland from the University of California, Riverside, US.
For the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the team looked for impact on the microbiome after dividing the mice into four groups — half fed the standard, ‘healthy’ diet, half-fed the less healthy ‘Western’ diet, half with access to a running wheel for exercise, and a half without.
After three weeks spent on these diets, all mice were returned to a standard diet and no exercise, which is normally how mice are kept in a laboratory. At the 14-week mark, the team examined the diversity and abundance of bacteria in the animals.
They found that the number of bacteria such as the Muribaculum intestine was significantly reduced in the Western diet group. This type of bacteria is involved in carbohydrate metabolism. The analysis also showed that the gut bacteria are sensitive to the amount of exercise the mice got. Muribaculum bacteria increased in mice fed a standard diet who had access to a running wheel and decreased in mice on a high-fat diet whether they had exercise or not.
Researchers believe this species of bacteria and the family of bacteria that it belongs to might influence the amount of energy available to its host. One other effect of note was the increase in a highly similar bacteria species that were enriched after five weeks of treadmill training in a study by other researchers, suggesting that exercise alone may increase its presence. Overall, the researchers found that early life Western diet had more long-lasting effects on the microbiome than did early life exercise. (IANS)
Parents, take note. If your child is exposed to air pollution, they may have a decline in thinking skills in later life, a study suggests. The study indicates that greater exposure to air pollution at the very start of life was associated with a detrimental effect on people’s cognitive skills up to 60 years later.
“For the first time we have shown the effect that exposure to air pollution very early in life could have on the brain many decades later,” said co-author Tom Russ from the University of Edinburgh.
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“This is the first step towards understanding the harmful effects of air pollution on the brain and could help reduce the risk of dementia for future generations,” Russ added.
For the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the researchers tested the general intelligence of more than 500 people, who were a part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study, aged approximately 70 years using a test they had all completed at the age of 11 years. The test was repeated at the ages of 76 and 79 years.
And, a record of where each person had lived throughout their life was used to estimate the level of air pollution they had experienced in their early years. The findings showed exposure to air pollution in childhood had a small but detectable association with the worse cognitive change between the ages of 11 and 70 years. This study shows it is possible to estimate historical air pollution and explore how this relates to cognitive ability throughout life, the researchers said.
Researchers say until now it has not been possible to explore the impact of early exposure to air pollution on thinking skills in later life because of a lack of data on air pollution levels before the 1990s when routine monitoring began. For this study, the team used a model called the EMEP4UK atmospheric chemistry transport model to determine pollution levels — known as historical fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations — for the years 1935, 1950, 1970, 1980, and 1990. They combined these historical findings with contemporary modeled data from 2001 to estimate life course exposure. (IANS)
Childhood trauma could affect the trajectory of multiple sclerosis development and response to treatment in adulthood, a new study suggests. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and strips away the protective coating around neurons, resulting in a wide range of neurological symptoms.
In a mice-based study, researchers found that mice that had experienced stress when young were more likely to develop the autoimmune disorder and less likely to respond to a common treatment.
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“Mice that had early-life trauma were more susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) disease development and suffered prolonged motor paralysis with severe neuronal damage in the central nervous system, which we found was caused by a heightened immune response,” said researcher Yee Ming Khaw from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.
In the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the team studied a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. The mice were genetically susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the model most widely used for studying MS.
The researchers watched the development and progression of EAE in mice that had been briefly separated from their mother and given a saline injection while young and compared it with mice that had not experienced the same stress.
The researchers traced the EAE triggers to the immune system — in particular, a receptor on immune cells that binds to the stress hormone norepinephrine. The researchers found that childhood stress in the mice triggered a prolonged release of norepinephrine. The receptor was activated for long periods of time, which led the cells to decrease their expression – leaving the immune system less equipped to respond to the stress and inflammation of EAE.
Importantly, mice that developed EAE after stress in their childhood trauma did not respond to treatment with interferon beta, one of the initial therapies most widely prescribed to individuals with multiple sclerosis. (IANS)