Not surprisingly, early childhood trauma predisposes people for depression later in life, and other problems (sexual and physical abuse, crime, poverty and poor health) often emanate from this condition. Unfortunately, the children of these people are often destined for the same fate. We all understand this innately and recognize it as an unfortunate but inevitable outcome of the human condition.
But all events that are biological in nature also have a biological explanation, so what – specifically – perpetuates this cycle at the molecular level? What cells, proteins, RNAs, and genes are actually involved? If we understood this, then there would be hope for a pharmaceutical intervention. In this study out of the Icahn School of Medicine, researchers identify patterns of gene expression in specific neurons that are associated with early life stress, identify the proteins responsible for the patterns, and use a small molecule drug to reverse the effects. Could such a drug could skew the arc of human history towards a more peaceful and prosperous future?