Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trauma Earlier In Life May Affect Response To Stress Years Later

Date:
November 21, 2007
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Researchers report that rapes, sudden deaths of loved ones, life-threatening accidents and other such traumas may result in long-term changes in the stress response in some people, even if they don't have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers have known for years that psychological trauma that results in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression can change how a person responds to stress. Now, Cornell researchers report that rapes, sudden deaths of loved ones, life-threatening accidents and other such traumas may result in long-term changes even if the survivor doesn't develop a clinical disorder.

Related Articles


"The findings suggest that there may be persistent differences in the stress response in some trauma-exposed people, even if they do not exhibit PTSD or depression or both, and even if their trauma was years in the past," said Barbara Ganzel, a lecturer in human development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology.

Ganzel led a team of Cornell researchers, whose study is published in a the Journal of Traumatic Stress on the biology of trauma. They assessed a group of women before and after they took their medical admissions tests (MCATs), a stressful experience for most people. Measuring levels of a stress hormone in saliva (cortisol), they found that women who had experienced trauma earlier in life (but who did not have PTSD or major depression) had lower levels cortisol leading up to and after the MCAT exam.

In addition, they found that the women who had experienced trauma kept a negative mood after the test, compared with other women, whose moods lifted significantly after the exams.

Ganzel suspects that the stress response system in these women have compensated or changed over time. The trauma-exposed women showed lower rather than higher levels of cortisol, Ganzel theorized, because "stress initially boosts cortisol output but after the stressor is over, cortisol falls below normal. These data suggest that, in some people, it may fall below normal and stay there, or that it develops a chronic tendency to dip lower than normal under stress."

The other co-authors are John Eckenrode, Pilyoung Kim, Elaine Wethington, all in human development at Cornell; Eric Horowitz '07; and Elise Temple, formerly of Cornell and now at Dartmouth College.

The research was supported by the College of Human Ecology, the Family Life Development Center and the Laboratory for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell, as well as by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Trauma Earlier In Life May Affect Response To Stress Years Later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120111530.htm>.
Cornell University. (2007, November 21). Trauma Earlier In Life May Affect Response To Stress Years Later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120111530.htm
Cornell University. "Trauma Earlier In Life May Affect Response To Stress Years Later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071120111530.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins