Good news of ways of healing mental trauma stemming from childhood. Also, not sure how researchers evaluate adoring rat mothers but assume they have their methods.
“Studies of rat pups show enduring changes in DNA and behavior depending on whether they were raised by high or low nurturing mothers (largely measured by how much the mothers licked their pups).
“As early as the first week of life, the offspring of less nurturing mothers were more fearful and reactive to stress, and their DNA contained more methyl groups, which tend to inhibit gene expression. In other words, parenting style permanently changed their DNA — a striking example of nurture over nature.
“The researchers found they could reverse the effects of maternal deprivation by giving the rats an HDAC inhibitor called trichostatin — which removes some of the methyl tags on DNA — when they were adults. Almost magically, these anxious rats now looked and acted just like the pups of adoring mothers.
“The implication is that the harmful effects of early life experiences on gene expression are potentially reversible much later in life.”
Source: Article “Return to the Teenage Brain”