The Neurobiology of Trauma: including Historic and Intergenerational Trauma on the Development of Addictions and Eating Disorder

Thursday, October 29, 2020
2:00 p.m. – 4:00p.m. ET
Abstract: Ongoing research has documented the role that trauma plays in the development of addictions. Intergenerational trauma is also being explored in families of survivors of the Holocaust, African-Americans post-slavery and in Native Americans. The passage of trauma from one generation to several generations below them has been documented in animal and human research with its etiology being related to epigenetic changes in DNA as a result of the original trauma. An understanding the impact of trauma, including attachment insecurity on the brain provides a more comprehensive understanding of addictions and other related disorders and fully seats trauma – acute, chronic and transgenerational or historic – as being import underlying etiologic factors in addictions. Treatment options must therefore, not only focus on acute trauma, but provide at least an understanding of how trauma can be passed on to generations to come.

1. Discussion of neurobiology of trauma
a. Brain development
b. Attachment issues
c. Prenatal trauma / toxic stress
2. Defining historical and intergenerational trauma
a. Research to support
b. Epigenetic memory
c. Case studies
3. Trauma and risk for addictions and eating disorders
4. Treatment options / Q and A


1. Attendees will describe how attachment styles can impact transgenerational transmission of trauma.
2. Attendees will discuss the ways in which trauma impacts the brain of those with original trauma.
3. Attendees will describe how trauma increases the risk for the development of addictions and other mental health disorders.

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