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Stanford Medicine magazine tells why a healthy childhood matters

cover 560 450
I've forgotten most of my childhood experiences - which is perfectly normal. But apparently my body remembers many of those experiences - and I learned while editing the new Stanford Medicine magazine that's normal too. The fall issue's special report, "Childhood: The road ahead," is full of stories of researchers realizing the impact early experiences can have on adult health. Some of their discoveries are surprising.

"Some people think kids are protected by virtue of being kids. In fact, the opposite is true," pediatric psychiatrist Victor Carrion, MD, told writer Erin Digitale, PhD, when she interviewed him for her story on the long-term effects of childhood trauma. Other writers found the same goes for other types of early damage: Kids are resilient but they also carry hidden scars.

The report also includes a Q&A with former President Jimmy Carter on discrimination against women and girls, which he considers the most serious human rights problem on Earth. The online version of the magazine includes audio of the Carter conversation.

Other highlights of the magazine’s special report include:

  • "Go to bed": An article on the devastating toll inadequate sleep takes on teens, with an update on efforts, including a Stanford project, to fix the problem.
  • "When I grow up": A report on the growing need for support of chronically ill children making the jump to adult care, and on the progress that’s being made.
  • "Beyond behavior": A story about a high school student’s return to health after an assault, and the new type of therapy that helped her.
  • "Rocket men": A feature about three rocket-combustion experts teaming up with a pediatrician to analyze the breath of critically ill children at warp speed.
  • "Warm welcomes": An article on blending Western medicine into traditional culture to reduce newborn mortality in the developing world.
  • "Bad for the bone": A quick look at a new way to study the toll of childhood disease on bones.

The issue also has an article on a surprising role for viruses in human embryos, as well as a report from India on how vision, investment and medical know-how has brought about an ambulance system — now 10 years old and one of the most important advances in global health today. The online version includes a video showing the ambulance system in action.

Many thanks to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, which helped support this issue.

Previously: This summer’s Stanford Medicine magazine shows some skin, Stanford Medicine magazine reports on time’s intersection with health and Stanford Medicine magazine traverses the immune system
Illustration from the cover of Stanford Medicine magazine's fall 2015 issue by Christopher Silas Neal

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