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Early Life Insults and Brain/Behavior Development

Early life insults are linked to important alterations in neurobehavioral and cognitive development. Although critical steps in the formation of the central nervous system take place in utero, brain development is not complete at birth and continues through childhood and adolescence as a highly dynamic process needed for proper social learning and cognitive development. This lengthened development allows for environmental factors to impact the brain and cognitive development. 

Emory National Primate Research Center researchers have recently focused on three critical early life insults in infant monkeys’ development: Zika virus infection, multiple exposure to general anesthesia, and stress and maternal/infant diet. These nonhuman primate models provide insights into outcomes and mechanisms of exposure to these early life environmental factors in human infants, and provide a platform to test therapy approaches to alleviate neurobehavioral consequences.

EPC Investigators Studying Early Life Insults and Brain/Behavior Development