This article published in the journal Pediatrics synthesizes research on neuroscience, molecular biology, genomics, developmental psychology and epidemiology to explain the effects of toxic stress on children. Early childhood stress contributes to changes in neurobiological and immune system development. The findings from these multiple disciplines suggest that adult disease can be influenced by a child’s early development.

Identifying the origins of disease and subsequent interventions can help to transform the emphasis of American health care from sick care to well care. These new understandings urge Pediatricians to care not just for the illness at hand, but also to advocate for public policy that supports healthy development and the integration of care across public services.

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