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DNA methylation and adverse childhood experiences

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Poverty, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment, physical violence in the family, and parental mental health issues, unemployment, incarceration, and substance misuse can contribute to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These in turn are associated with poor long-term outcomes in adulthood related to health, social, employment, addiction and mental health and premature mortality. ACEs can be part of the epigenetic impact of environmental effects on chromosomal structure and DNA stability. DNA methylation (the covalent addition of a methyl group to cytosines in CpG dinucleotides) is one of the major epigenetic chromosomal modifications. This influences gene expression, alters DNA structure, conformation, and …

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