Apr. 25th, 2012

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There was an interesting article in the paper the other day about a study posted in Molecular Psychiatry.  It suggests that violence leaves long-term scars on children by altering their DNA, causing changes that are equivalent to 7 - 10 years of premature aging.  Somehow it shortens the telomeres, which are the DNA sequences that prevent the DNA from unraveling at the end.  Smoking, radiation and stress had shorten these telomeres.  Some of the stresses listed were being maltreated at an early age or taking care of a chronically ill person.  If you're interested in the whole article, it was from USA Today.

It made me wonder if this is what's happening to my mother--not that she was subjected to violence at an early age, but she did have the care of my father, who was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes.  There was always a lot of stress involved.  Maybe I'm just looking for a scapegoat, because the thought of her dementia being hereditary scares the ever-loving beejeezus outta me.  Although, it does seem like most of the elderly people I know right now are either A) well physically and not-so-well with mental function, or B) have a host of physical ailments and yet "with-it" mentally.  Those that are doing well in both physical and mental status seem to be few and far between.  Or maybe just the ones I'm around.  

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musingaloud

July 2012

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