Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.  Nadine Burke Harris Pediatrician

Nadine Burke Harris’ healthcare practice focuses on a little-understood, yet very common factor in childhood that can profoundly impact adult-onset disease: trauma.

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up

By Barry Goldstein

The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Studies are revolutionary medical research that can change society in the most wonderful and fundamental ways. Nadine Burke Harris is a doctor who learned about ACE while treating patients at a clinic in a poor urban setting. She learned that domestic violence, child abuse and other traumas know no economic boundaries. She used the trauma histories of patients to help them overcome the health problems cased by ACEs.

Dr. Vincent Felitti, the lead author of the original ACE Study believes that prevention can be an even greater use for his research. The Quincy Solution which would quickly and dramatically reduce domestic violence and child abuse would reduce the rates of cancer, heart disease and so many other life-altering diseases and social problems more than any drug previously invented. The custody courts can play their role in protecting children through the Safe Child Act which requires courts to make the health and safety of children the first priority. Some day children will complain about having to learn about ACE not knowing they are healthier, safer and happier because of the research of Vincent Felitti and the implementation of professionals like Nadine Burke Harris.