Childhood traumas alter muscle functions as we age

Published by Cédric - 25 days ago - Other Languages: FR, DE, ES, PT
Article Author: Cédric DEPOND
Source: Science Advances

A recent study from the University of Michigan has shed light on a disturbing connection between traumatic experiences in childhood and later muscle health. Published in Science Advances, the research suggests that these difficult events might leave a lasting imprint on our physiology, specifically affecting muscle function over time.

To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed muscle tissue samples from 879 participants over the age of 70, as part of the Study on Muscles, Mobility, and Aging (SOMMA). These participants also completed detailed questionnaires about their past, including any traumatic events they experienced during childhood.


Illustrative image from Pixabay

The findings revealed that nearly half of the participants reported experiencing one or more adverse events during their youth. More notably, those who reported such traumas showed lower production of adenosine-triphosphates (ATP) in their muscle cells. ATP is crucial for cellular energy, playing a key role in muscle contraction.

Kate Duchowny, the lead researcher at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, points out that these results suggest childhood experiences could directly influence the mitochondria of skeletal muscles. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells, and their impaired function could predispose individuals to various health issues related to aging.

Similarly, Anthony Molina, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and co-author of the study, emphasizes the significance of these findings for understanding the underlying mechanisms of aging. His previous research has already demonstrated that measures of mitochondrial function are closely linked to both the physical and cognitive health of older adults.

The implications of this study extend beyond just understanding biological processes. They also highlight the importance of considering childhood traumas in promoting well-being throughout life. By identifying and understanding these links between the past and future health, it becomes possible to better prevent and manage health issues associated with aging.

Thus, this research provides new insights into the profound impact that early traumatic events can have on our long-term health and underscores the importance of a holistic approach to health, taking into account both physiological and psychological aspects.
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