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Exposure to trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) continues to be a major problem worldwide. Previous data have suggested that one in eight children suffered from some form of maltreatment The lifetime costs of this maltreatment approximate $124 billion, attributable to health care, special education, child welfare, and criminal justice costs as well as lost productivity over the lifetime. Trauma and ACEs lead to disrupted brain homeostasis and maladaptive compensatory responses affecting critical brain processes such as neurogenesis, synaptic modulation, and myelination. Evidence from a combination of rodent, primate, and human research suggest that early stressors result in long term changes in multiple brain circuits and systems. Theoretically all parts of the brain–cortex, limbic system, midbrain, and brainstem–may be affected, accounting for the vast, varied, and long-lasting effects of trauma.

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