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Grantee in the News: Brad Johnson comments on Research linking Childhood Trauma to Cellular Aging

Oct 11
2016

Grantee in the News: Brad Johnson comments on Research linking Childhood Trauma to Cellular Aging View MoreBACK

On October 3, 2016, HealthDay featured insights from 2002 Beeson Scholar F. Bradley Johnson, MD, PhD, on new research linking childhood trauma to cellular aging and telomeres.

According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, childhood trauma may result in shorter telomeres, the ending portion of chromosomes.  Previous research has indicated that shorter telomeres, which help to prevent the chromosome from unraveling, may be associated with increased risk of heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and some types of cancer.

The authors of the study stress the limited application of this study, stating that childhood stress is “relative,” not all individuals who suffer childhood trauma will develop shorter telomeres. 

Dr. Johnson agrees that there is limited application for this study. He states, “the telomeres may be contributing a little bit here, but it's not clear from these results that they are contributing in a big way.”

F. Bradley Johnson, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

For more information on the role of telomeres in aging, visit our InfoAging resource here.





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