Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many adult diseases sprout in poverty, molecular sociologist says

Date:
February 27, 2010
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
The roots of many adult diseases sprout in poverty and other burdens on the socially disadvantaged. A self-described molecular sociologist recently talked about the effects such environmental stressors have on the brain and in turn other organ systems.

The roots of many adult diseases sprout in poverty and other burdens on the socially disadvantaged. Rockefeller University's Bruce S. McEwen, a self-described molecular sociologist, talked about the effects such environmental stressors have on the brain and in turn other organ systems at the 2010 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.

McEwen, a neuroendocrinologist, will cover research into how negative daily life experiences, above and beyond dramatic stressful events, contribute to an overall wear and tear on the body. He calls this wear and tear allostatic load, from the term allostasis, a physiological adaptation that attempts to maintain a dynamic balance in a system under pressure from a variety of sources. In the case of stress, allostatic load reflects the sum of pressures that strain the brain and body, not only the impact of environmental stressors but also genes, lifestyle habits such as sleep, diet, and exercise, and bad early life experiences.

The concept captures the systematic effects of stress on the brain, which in the short-run can be protective -- i.e., the fight or flight response -- but if endured over extended periods of time can lead to lifelong behavior and health problems. The effects are especially profound in early childhood development, he argues, drawing on more than a decade of his work with an interdisciplinary group of scientists researching the long-term health effects of social inequality. The effects are comparable to those seen in other species among those on the lower rungs of a group's "dominance hierarchy."

"Improving the developmental trajectory of a child by helping the parents and improving the home environment is probably the single most important thing we can do for the health of that child," says McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller. "Adverse childhood experience is a of large contributors to such chronic health problems as diabetes and obesity, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse -- almost every major public health challenge we face. These cause much human suffering and also are a huge financial burden on our society."

McEwen co-chaired a symposium at the AAAS meeting titled "Stress and the Central Role of the Brain in Health Inequalities," which featured research from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pittsburg as well.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "Many adult diseases sprout in poverty, molecular sociologist says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219115355.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2010, February 27). Many adult diseases sprout in poverty, molecular sociologist says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219115355.htm
Rockefeller University. "Many adult diseases sprout in poverty, molecular sociologist says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219115355.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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