May 08

Be Human Stop Child Abuse : Vol 14, 8th May, 2013


Childhood rape can change genes

Childhood rape or other traumatic events like car accidents or recurrent abuse can change the genetic functioning of the victim as per a study led by Divya Mehta of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany reports TOI.

Comparing the genetic structure of blood cells drawn from childhood abuse victims with that of persons who had not suffered such abuse, the researchers found that changes in the genes were 12 times more visible in the abused persons.

These are called epigenetic changes – the DNA has not changed but there are chemical differences that affect the way the genes do their work.

Epigenetic changes are caused by outside circumstances and usually last lifelong.

The study has been published in a recent issue of the scientific journal Proceedings of National Academy of Science (PNAS).

The research also has major implications for wider psychiatric treatment. One of the reasons why psychiatric treatment has a low success rate could be that patients with different ‘biologies’, that is, internal genetic structures are all being grouped under one disease.

The study shows that in the future, trauma victims will need to be first checked through blood markers whether they have childhood trauma changes – this will open the door to better more effective customized treatment.





Dr Vinay Aggarwal, President, Elect CMAAO

Dr K Vijayakumar (National President) IMA

Dr N Saini (Secretary General) IMA

Dr M Pillai (Chairman Organising Committee)

Dr D R Rai (Organising Secretary)

Dr S Arulrhaj (Chairman Scientific Committee)

Dr KK Aggarwal (Co-Chairman & Editor)


DNA testing

  • DNA parentage testing is primarily used to determine whether a man can be conclusively excluded as the biological father of a given child.
  • It has legal, financial, and social indications.
  • The testing uses tandemly repeated DNA length polymorphisms to compare DNA samples between individuals.
  • Samples from the child, mother, and alleged father are used.
  • Alleles not shared by mother and child represent obligate paternal alleles.
  • When the alleged father is not available, DNA grandparentage testing can produce highly conclusive results.
  • Alternatively, family reconstruction by DNA analyses can provide highly conclusive results if a sufficient number of family members with known relationship to the deceased is available for testing and if a sufficient number of highly diverse genetic sites is tested.
  • The combined paternity index (CPI) is the ratio of the chance that a tested man, given his entire analyzed genetic makeup, is the biological father of the child in question, compared to the likelihood of a random man producing the child.
  • A CPI of 1000 (equivalent to a probability of paternity of 99.9 percent) means that odds are 1000 times to 1 that the tested man is the biological father in comparison to a random man in the general population. A combined paternity index of 1000 should be utilized as a minimum requirement to establish paternity.
  • The Y-STR paternal lineage DNA test can be used to determine whether two or more males are related through their paternal lineage.
  • An opinion of non-paternity should not be rendered on the basis of a genetic mismatch at a single DNA site. A minimum of three genetic mismatches between the alleged father and the child should be present prior to rendering the diagnosis of non-paternity.
  • Prenatal paternity testing requires informed consent from all adults involved in testing, samples from the mother, one of the potential fathers, and the fetus (by either CVS or amniocentesis).
  • Parentage testing without consent or court order is unethical.
  • Regulation of DNA parentage laboratories is voluntary. (Source Uptodate)

What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

  1. Find a safe place away from the person who attacked you.
  2. Call a close friend or family member. Choose someone who will give you support no matter what.
  3. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
  4. The doctor might also offer you medicines that can reduce your chances of getting pregnant (if you are a woman) or getting an infection.
  5. If you say it’s OK, the doctor can take samples of cells or fluid from your body and clothes. These samples can show who your attacker was and what he or she did.
  6. You do not have to let the doctor or nurse do anything you do not want.
  7. Do NOT try to clean up before you see a doctor or nurse. If you clean up, you might wash away proof of what happened
  8. Do not change clothes
  9. Do not take a shower or bath
  10. Do not brush your teeth
  11. Do not wash the inside of your vagina or rectum
  12. If you can wait, try not to go to the bathroom or to eat anything until after you have seen a doctor or nurse
  13. Find a counselor — someone you can talk to about what happened.
  14. Talk to your counselor about filing a police report.
  15. See your doctor or nurse again 1 to 2 weeks later. This gives them a chance to make sure everything is OK.
  16. Ask about “victim compensation services.
  17. Protect others if you might have an infection. If you have sex with someone after being raped, use a condom every time you have sex for at least 3 months.
Readers Response
  1. This message is too good. Keep it up.Regards:

    Dr Priya

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