Thursday, November 7, 2013

Some Brain/DNA Geek Info That Shows How Our Grandparents' Trauma May Affect Us

I have been reading about epigenetics lately and then came across some great videos.Rather than trying to define it,  I thought I would share the following for those of you who may get as excited about this kind of thing as I do.   Epigenetics helps us understand how the effects of trauma can be transmitted from one generation to another.  It may cause a sense of hopelessness to realize that our DNA is impacted by the experiences of our ancestors and that our experiences impact our children and grandchildren, but if you read through the article Grandma's Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes |, you will see that there is still a strong case to be made for the power of strong attachment and caregiving.

The video, The Ghost in Your Genes, is a PBS Nova presentation of about 50 minutes from 2007 that can be viewed in its entirety on the ACES Connection website.  About half way through it starts to discuss how trauma impacts our genes.

And then we have this somewhat amusing but fast moving video below that gives a brief overview of what epigenetics is.


  1. Epigenetics "sensitive times" for women when they are in the womb and men when they are pubescent. How many woman are abused during pregnancy? What kind of changes in our cortisol can we expect from being exposed to DV before we were born? How many young men are exposed to trauma in puberty? This is just CRAZY! IF we can pass this stress hormone imbalance on to our the human race doomed? What I want to hear is how can we pass on or perhaps change this towards a more balance picture? We must surely be able to use this info for the "good" side of this. I have often joked with folks that every cell in my body requires that I take the safe and stable road and that this was engrained in me by my family because they were very poor before my Mom was even born...I may have been speaking the truth! Fascinating- thank you for sharing this Linda!

    1. Becky, the article from Discover magazine talks about how improved attachment and good caregiving can reverse the effects. There is always hope!