Perinatal and early childhood biomarkers of psychosocial stress and adverse experiences.

TitlePerinatal and early childhood biomarkers of psychosocial stress and adverse experiences.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBarrero-Castillero A, Pierce LJ, Urbina-Johanson SA, Pirazzoli L, Burris HH, Nelson CA
JournalPediatr Res
Date Published2022 Jan 28
ISSN1530-0447
Abstract

The human brain develops through a complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences. During critical periods of development, experiences shape brain architecture, often with long-lasting effects. If experiences are adverse, the effects may include the risk of mental and physical disease, whereas positive environments may increase the likelihood of healthy outcomes. Understanding how psychosocial stress and adverse experiences are embedded in biological systems and how we can identify markers of risk may lead to discovering new approaches to improve patient care and outcomes. Biomarkers can be used to identify specific intervention targets and at-risk children early when physiological system malleability increases the likelihood of intervention success. However, identifying reliable biomarkers has been challenging, particularly in the perinatal period and the first years of life, including in preterm infants. This review explores the landscape of psychosocial stress and adverse experience biomarkers. We highlight potential benefits and challenges of identifying risk clinically and different sub-signatures of stress, and in their ability to inform targeted interventions. Finally, we propose that the combination of preterm birth and adversity amplifies the risk for abnormal development and calls for a focus on this group of infants within the field of psychosocial stress and adverse experience biomarkers. IMPACT: Reviews the landscape of biomarkers of psychosocial stress and adverse experiences in the perinatal period and early childhood and highlights the potential benefits and challenges of their clinical utility in identifying risk status in children, and in developing targeted interventions. Explores associations between psychosocial stress and adverse experiences in childhood with prematurity and identifies potential areas of assessment and intervention to improve outcomes in this at-risk group.

DOI10.1038/s41390-022-01933-z
Alternate JournalPediatr Res
PubMed ID35091705