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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Childhood Trauma and Chronic Pain: What's the Relationship?


The Children’s Bureau’s most recent child abuse statistics reveal that 7.2 million children were reported as abused in 2015. This number had unfortunately grown from the previous report by more than half a million children.

Dr. Paul Durham is a distinguished professor of biology at Missouri State University and the director for the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences at the Jordan Valley Innovation Center. He is an international expert on orofacial pain and shares about the relationship with early childhood stress.

Durham says that studies of children in these traumatizing situations show an imbalance in the gut bacteria.

In Durham’s lab, they have been testing several interventions for pain sufferers – things like vagus nerve stimulation, dietary changes and cannabidiol (or CBD – which is a nonintoxicating component of marijuana). He is hopeful that these could positively affect this vulnerable population, too. And prevent the onset of chronic pain.

One of Durham’s goals is to help reduce drug dependency and find alternative interventions for reducing pain. 

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