Child’s Telomeres May Tell of Early-Life Adversity

July 1, 2011

Publication: Psychiatric News

Featured Expert: Charles A. Nelson III


This article written by by Leslie Sinclair discusses the research of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP), a randomized controlled trial of institutionalized care and deprivation in childhood. The team of researchers, which includes Center-affiliated faculty member Charles A. Nelson III, and National Scientific Council on the Developing Child member Nathan A. Fox, has been studying the effects of a foster care intervention on Romanian children taken from state-run orphanages. As the article details, new findings reveal an association between early-life experiences and the length of telomeres, DNA sequences that promote chromosomal stability. These biomarkers are demonstrating how adversity can have a profound impact on the cellular level.

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