Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain

The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and the brain, with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. Yet policies that affect young children generally do not address or even reflect awareness of the degree to which very early exposure to stressful experiences and environments can affect the architecture of the brain, the body’s stress response systems, and a host of health outcomes later in life.
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