According to a new study, early stress confers lifelong vulnerability causing alterations in a specific brain region. The study was conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The study shown early life stress increases lifelong susceptibility to stress through long-lasting transcriptional programming in the brain reward region implicated in mood and depression.
The study was focused on ‘epigenetics’- the study of changes in the action of genes cause which is different from the changes in DNA code that we inherit from our parents. The researchers also added that instead by molecules, ‘epigenetics’ also regulate when, where, and to what degree our genetic material is activated.
This kind of regulation-procured from the function of transcription factors-- specialized proteins that bind to specific DNA sequences in our genes. Additionally, such regulation drives either encourage or shut down the expression of a given gene, stated the researchers. The previous researches, conducted on humans and animals, have shown that early life stress increases the risk for depression and other psychiatric syndromes. However, the neurobiology linking the two has remained indefinable so far.