https://www.thedailybeast.com/children- ... y-suggests or https://archive.is/UgiuTChildren of Holocaust Survivors Could Inherit Brain Trauma, New Study Suggests
Even 70 years after the Holocaust, a new study finds evidence of trauma rewiring the survivors’ brains—and possibly their descendants’ as well.
New research shows that the trauma of surviving the Holocaust permanently altered the brain structure of Holocaust survivors, and might impact the brain structure of their descendants as well.
The study, presented by neurologist Ivan Rektor, head of the Research Centre for Neuroscience at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, used MRI scanning to examine the brain functions of 28 Holocaust survivors and compared them with 28 people who were not persecuted during the Holocaust.
Even 70 years after the Holocaust, evidence of the way trauma rewired the survivors’ brains was clear: There was a significant decrease in gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, stress, emotion, and behavior.
While much of the brain remains a mystery, scientists have found that the human brain is composed of gray matter and white matter; and that gray matter helps the brain process information and can be involved in everything from muscle control to memory, emotions, and decision-making.
In previous research, scientists found a link between gray matter reduction and PTSD. Different traumas caused different gray matter reduction patterns. Some scientists believe gray matter reduction can be used as a predictor for future disabilities and cognitive impairments.
The study also showed that Holocaust survivors who were below the age of 12 in 1945 had more reduction in gray matter than did older survivors, perhaps because younger victims felt the affects of the Holocaust as their brains were still developing.
Rektor’s researchers are now investigating how this trauma could affect the descendants of survivors. Early results from children of Holocaust survivors suggest there is less connectivity between the brain structures associated with memory and emotion.
"Our hope is that these findings and our ongoing research will allow us to understand more about the effect of these experiences in order to focus therapy to support survivors' and their descendants' resilience and growth,” Rektor said in a press release.
Despite this, survivors told researchers they were satisfied with the lives they have built for themselves in the decades following the war.
Now, I looked for the full study, and I found this:
Holocaust history is not reflected in telomere homeostasis in survivors and their offspring
From the abstract:
Telomeres, nucleoprotein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are crucial for the maintenance of genome integrity. While the lengths of telomeres at birth are determined genetically, many factors including environmental and living conditions affect the telomere lengths during a lifespan. In this context, extreme and long-term stress has been shown to negatively impact telomeres and their protective function, with even offspring being influenced by the stress experienced by parents. Using quantitative PCR, the relative lengths of telomeres of survivors of the Holocaust during World War II and two generations of their offspring were analyzed. These data were related to those of control groups, persons of comparable age without a strong life stress experience. In contrast to previous studies of other stress-exposed groups, the relative lengths of telomeres were comparable in groups of persons exposed to Holocaust-related stress and their progenies, and in control groups. Interestingly, shorter telomeres of Holocaust survivors of the age under 12 in the year 1945 compared to Holocaust survivors of the age above 12 were detected. Our results are discussed with respect to certain exceptionality of persons having been able to cope with an extreme stress more than 70 years ago and living to a very old age.
Does the description there not suggest that the progeny do not inherit this stress, at least if you measure by telomere length? Seems like a garbage, pointless study.