The Impact of Trauma on the Embryo and Fetus: An Application of the Diathesis-Stress Model and the Neurovulnerability-Neurotoxicity Model

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
10/2004
Page Count: 
55
Starting Page: 
9
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

Today embryology and fetal research offers consistent findings that nature and nurture overlap. The relational and environmental world of the mother powerfully influences the development of her embryo and fetus. Early pre- and post-natal experiences, including early trauma, are encoded in the implicit memory of the fetus, located in the subcortical and deep limbic regions of the maturing brain. These memories will travel with us into our early days of infancy and beyond and more importantly, these early experiences set our ongoing physiological and psychological regulatory baselines. The diathesis-stress and neurovulnerability-neurotoxicity models are applied to the neuroscience research on stress, trauma and psychopathology and these same models can shed light on prenatal development. Given the knowledge on early brain development and the impact of trauma on both the mother and her baby, it is vital that we recognize and find ways to buffer and protect the mother and her embryo/fetus.

KEY WORDS: gastrulation, neurulation, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, myelination, neurotoxicity, neurovulnerability, diathesis-stress model, blastocyst, embryo, fetus.

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Paula Thomson, Psy.D.

Paula Thomson, Psy.D is Assistant Professor at York University, Toronto, Canada; Full Professor at American Behavioral Studies Institute, faculty member at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles. Contact Dr. Thomson via email: Paula-maurice@worldnet.att.net.

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000; James, 1995; O'Rahilly, 1999; Stephens, 1980)

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000; James, 1995; O'Rahilly, 1999; Stephens, 1980)

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000; James, 1995; O'Rahilly, 1999; Stephens, 1980)

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000; James, 1995; O'Rahilly, 1999; Stephens, 1980)

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000: James, 1995: O'Rahillv, 1999: Stephens. 1980)

APPENDIX A

Appearance of Developmental Milestones - most structures are formed during the embryonic phase but they begin to function primarily during fetal development (Arduini, 1995; Dye, 2000; James, 1995; O'Rahilly, 1999; Stephens, 1980)

APPENDIX B

Some Genes Involved in Neurodevelopment (Keshavan, 1997)

APPENDIX B

Some Genes Involved in Neurodevelopment (Keshavan, 1997)

APPENDIX C

Some of the Many Neuro-Peptides

APPENDIX C

Some of the Many Neuro-Peptides

APPENDIX D

Fetal Behavioral States (Arduini, 1995; James, 1995)