How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect the Developing Brain
Researchers like Dr. Nadine Burke Harris have recognized the negative impacts that adverse childhood experiences can have on health. But now we understand more about the resiliency factors as well.
Unfortunately, not all kids have the same experiences growing up. While some have a comfortable, relatively happy home life, others have to deal with situations like poverty, violence, or death of others at a young age.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was the first to bring the term “adverse childhood experience” or ACE into the mainstream with her September 2014 TED talk that has received over two million views. She describes how too many stressors (especially those invoked by parents) as a child can have real impacts on the developing brain. Later, those impacts can show up as heart disease or lung cancer:
If you know or work with a child who has gone through challenging times, it’s a natural instinct to want to help them. But perhaps you’re not really sure what to do, what would really help. New research might have some ideas about what's needed in those situations in order for children to become resilient.
It appears as though kids who have gone through four or more ACEs have a higher likelihood of both physical and mental health problems down the road. But, the child’s “family, social, and community assets” were critical to helping him or her thrive despite the challenges. Those are some broad categories, but the research specifically mentions factors such as strong maternal mental health and “patient-centered, coordinated medical care” as some of the most important factors in the findings.
Research has also connected a marker of diabetes control with ACEs and levels of parent education. Children whose parents had at least a high school diploma were less likely to have high levels of the diabetes control marker when compared to children whose parents did not complete high school education. It looks as though for many different health factors, how you grow up matters.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
In the face of seemingly unstoppable gun violence, Americans could stand to gain by looking to the Swiss.
- According to a recent study, the U.S. had the second highest number of gun-related deaths in 2016 after Brazil.
- Like the U.S., Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. However, it has a considerably lower rate of deaths from gun violence.
- Though pro-gun advocates point to Switzerland as an example of how gun ownership doesn't have to correlate with mass shootings, Switzerland has very different regulations, practices, and policies related to guns than America.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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