ACEs Research Corner, December 2018

 

[Editor's note: Dr. Harise Stein at Stanford University edits a web site -- abuseresearch.info -- that focuses on the health effects of abuse, and includes research articles on ACEs. Every month, she's posting  the summaries of the abstracts and links to research articles that address only ACEs. Thank you, Harise!! -- Jane Stevens]

Deighton S, Neville A, Pusch D, Dobson K.
Biomarkers of adverse childhood experiences: A scoping review. Psychiatry Res. 2018 Nov;269:719-732. PMID: 30273897
“Research has demonstrated a link between ACEs and risk of physical and mental health disorders, where early life adversity may become ‘biologically embedded’ and have wide-ranging effects on various physiological systems…biomarkers related to inflammation (e.g., CRP), cardio/metabolic systems (e.g., BMI), genetics (e.g., telomere length), and endocrine systems (e.g., cortisol), as well as composites of multiple physiological systems.”

Herzog S, D'Andrea W, DePierro J, Khedari V.
When stress becomes the new normal: Alterations in attention and autonomic reactivity in repeated traumatization. J Trauma Dissociation. 2018 May-Jun;19(3):362-381. PMID: 29547073
For 63 community adult women, those who had experienced a single type of childhood adversity responded to a threat cue with hypervigilance, whereas those with 3 or more adversities responded with avoidance. Implications for treatment are discussed.

Turner S, Taillieu T, Carleton RN, Sareen J, Afifi TO.
Association between a history of child abuse and suicidal ideation, plans and attempts among Canadian public safety personnel: a cross-sectional survey. CMAJ Open. 2018 Oct 18;6(4):E463-E470. PMID: 30337471
From an online survey with 49.3% return of Canadian Municipal Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, correctional workers, firefighters, paramedics, and call center operators, 53.3 - 60.4 % reported as least one ACE.  Both career-related trauma and especially childhood maltreatment were significantly related to suicidal behaviors.

Oh DL, Jerman P, Purewal Boparai SK, et. al.
Review of Tools for Measuring Exposure to Adversity in Children and Adolescents. J Pediatr Health Care. 2018 Nov - Dec;32(6):564-583. PMID: 30369409   Full text
Review of multiple tools available to measure ACEs revealed several challenges, including lack of universal agreement on definitions and items to include, target populations (lack of tools for very young children and the doubt that one tool would be equally effective for all stages of development), administration time, and reliability and validity. Authors also emphasize “Screening for resilience factors should also be an integral part of screening for exposure to adversity, because resilience is key to understanding a child’s individual response to an adverse exposure.”

 

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