Breaking News
November 20, 2018 - Karyopharm’s Selinexor Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
November 20, 2018 - Arthritis by the Numbers: Book of Trusted Facts & Figures
November 20, 2018 - Drug homing method helps rethink Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - AHF commends the passage of global AIDS funding in the House, calls for swift approval
November 20, 2018 - The search for new psychiatric disorder treatments
November 20, 2018 - New research offers hope for simpler way to diagnose and treat cancer
November 20, 2018 - Study sheds light on the infection mechanism of influenza virus
November 20, 2018 - Storage failures of eggs and embryos gain a new perspective
November 20, 2018 - Buyers of short-term health plans: Wise or shortsighted?
November 20, 2018 - Study indicates that frogs in virus-exposed groups breed at young age
November 20, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not To Use Sterile Drug Products from Pharm D Solutions
November 20, 2018 - Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
November 20, 2018 - Researchers to explore the enigmatic role of unstructured protein in regulating circadian function
November 20, 2018 - Drug used to treat PTSD does not reduce suicidal thinking, may worsen nightmares and insomnia
November 20, 2018 - In-person social contact may offer protection against depression and PTSD symptoms
November 20, 2018 - Routine HCV testing in correctional facilities can best identify and treat disease, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Molecular DNA analysis could facilitate more accurate prognosis, treatment of aggressive brain tumors
November 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate Not Up With Autologous Fat Transfer
November 20, 2018 - Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 20, 2018 - Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?
November 20, 2018 - Urine test to check if patients take their medications will save the NHS money, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Study reveals impact of residual inflammatory risk on clinical outcomes after PCI
November 20, 2018 - RNAi therapy shown to alleviate preeclampsia
November 20, 2018 - Replacement of dysfunctional microglia has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases
November 20, 2018 - Forming 3D Neuronal Models of the Brain
November 20, 2018 - Shoulder ultrasounds could be used to predict diabetes
November 20, 2018 - SGLT2 Inhibitors for Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk for Amputation
November 20, 2018 - Stem cell transplant cements Arizona men’s father-son bond
November 20, 2018 - Scientists try to develop portable systems that can quickly produce biologics on demand
November 20, 2018 - Automating Data Capture and Image Analysis in Continuous Experiments
November 20, 2018 - New drug shows promise for treating people with peanut allergy
November 20, 2018 - Researchers develop novel mouse model to study immunomodulatory therapies
November 20, 2018 - “Britain must not go backward on antibiotic controls to appease US trade deals” – Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor
November 20, 2018 - Widespread errors in ‘proofreading’ cause inherited blindness
November 20, 2018 - Reaping the benefits of living longer
November 20, 2018 - New Program Hopes to Make Early Detection and Treatment of ALS a Reality
November 19, 2018 - Artificial bone-like substance mimics the way real bone grows at atomic level
November 19, 2018 - FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation To RGX-181 Gene Therapy For The Treatment Of CLN2 Form Of Batten Disease
November 19, 2018 - Systemic mastocytosis – Genetics Home Reference
November 19, 2018 - Eye trauma secondary to falls in older adults increasing
November 19, 2018 - Empowering women in India to improve their health: A Q&A
November 19, 2018 - Researchers have trained a computer to analyze breast cancer images and classify tumors
November 19, 2018 - New glucose binding molecule could be key to better metabolic control for diabetics
November 19, 2018 - Biologists uncover novel genetic control of lipid maintenance and its potential connection to lifespan
November 19, 2018 - Warmer winters may set scene for higher rates of violent crimes
November 19, 2018 - Personalized program of physical exercise effective in reversing functional decline in the elderly
November 19, 2018 - Acacia Pharma Resubmits Barhemsys New Drug Application
November 19, 2018 - PDL1 (Immunotherapy) Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 19, 2018 - Transforming pregnancy research with a smartphone app
November 19, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine explores how digital technology is changing health care
November 19, 2018 - Vision impairments may increase risk of falls in older adults
November 19, 2018 - Concomitant use of sleeping pills and opioids found to prevalent among people with Alzheimer’s disease
November 19, 2018 - Marijuana prevention programs should focus on promoting mental wellbeing of youth
November 19, 2018 - New report calls for greater awareness and emphasis on scale and impact of atrial fibrillation
November 19, 2018 - In throes of turkey salmonella outbreak, don’t invite illness to your table
November 19, 2018 - UK health policies should be redesigned to become more accessible for men
November 19, 2018 - Short Interpregnancy Intervals Tied to Adverse Outcome Risk
November 19, 2018 - New mothers’ breastfeeding pain can affect infant health
November 19, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine reports on ways digital technology is transforming health care | News Center
November 19, 2018 - Human drugs alter cricket personality
November 19, 2018 - Insilico Medicine to introduce ‘Cure a disease in a year’ program at Biodata World Congress 2018
November 19, 2018 - Experts debate over whether gut or brain is more important in regulating appetite
November 19, 2018 - Playing on fear and fun, hospitals follow pharma in direct-to-consumer advertising
November 19, 2018 - 2PG Company receives grant to develop sensitive, low-cost molecular diagnostic tests for tuberculosis
November 19, 2018 - Low-Carb Diets May Work By Boosting Calorie Burn
November 19, 2018 - Key molecule responsible for learning and memory discovered
November 19, 2018 - New blood test developed for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer
November 19, 2018 - Researchers identify molecule to fight myotubular myopathy
November 19, 2018 - New solution to stop spread of brain cancer
November 19, 2018 - Immune cells trigger OCD-like behaviour in multiple sclerosis, study finds
November 19, 2018 - Scientists equip new virus that kills carcinoma cells with protein
November 19, 2018 - Novel approach could provide painless, efficient alternative for treating eye diseases
November 19, 2018 - Protein in cell membranes of sperm plays key role in finding their way to eggs
November 19, 2018 - Parents who decline flu vaccination for their child may be exposed to limited information
November 19, 2018 - Mirati Presents Data From Ongoing Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of Mocetinostat In Combination With Durvalumab At The SITC 33rd Annual Meeting
November 19, 2018 - FDA warns of common diabetes meds’ link to dangerous genital infection
November 19, 2018 - New methods for preserving shoulder function, quality of life in breast cancer patients
November 19, 2018 - Surprising discovery about BH4 may rekindle interest in once-promising pathway
November 19, 2018 - Nabriva Therapeutics Completes Submission of New Drug Application to U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Intravenous Contepo to Treat Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
November 19, 2018 - Beating breast cancer only to die of opioid use – a sad Appalachian story
Stanford physicians outline potential negative health effects of detaining immigrant children

Stanford physicians outline potential negative health effects of detaining immigrant children

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

How can prolonged detention affect a child?

This question is front and center as federal officials consider changing rules that govern how young people are treated when they cross with their parents into the United States and lack documentation.

Currently, these migrant families can be held no more than 20 days. After that, they’re often released — sometimes with GPS ankle bracelets — until their case is settled in immigration court. Now, the government has proposed removing the time limit for how long noncitizen families can be detained. The deadline for public comment on the proposed new regulation is Nov. 6.

The suggested changes are concerning to a group of psychologists, psychiatrists and pediatricians from the Bay Area — most of them from Stanford — who weighed in on potential mental health implications for immigrant children and families and offered suggestions for an approach that would minimize negative effects. In a letter to the administration, they wrote, “There is strong evidence that indefinite and unrestricted detention of family units presents significant risk to children and families that can result in catastrophic long-term psychological harm that can cross generations.”

As director of community research programs for Stanford Medicine’s Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program, Ryan Matlow, PhD, has worked with many children who have experienced trauma — including young people who were held in detention after crossing the border. He spearheaded the letter-writing campaign, and I recently contacted him to learn more.

Matlow explained to me that simply losing autonomy can be a major source of trauma, and that trauma can be compounded by any subpar conditions at a facility.

The negative effects, Matlow said, can get hardwired into a young person’s brain, strengthening biological pathways that emphasize emotion over logical thought.

As a result, he said, “When that young person is faced with a triggering situation, when they experience fear or danger or some kind of cue or signal that reminds them of something related to their trauma, they’re more susceptible to that emotional, fight-or-flight, survival response, which is often a fear-based response or leads to aggression or defensiveness.”

This is an adaptive response to threat or danger, he explained, but these adaptations — including those that occur in response to the conditions of detention — ultimately prove counterproductive for an individual who is trying to function in the regular world.

In the long term, this difficulty controlling emotions can interfere with a person’s ability to hold a job or maintain meaningful relationships, Matlow said. And the struggles can be passed along to the next generation in two ways: through parenting from a person with psychological challenges and through the expression of genes related to the stress response system that are primed to trigger similar behavior.

“We don’t only inherit our genes,” he explained, “but we inherit ways in which our genes are expressed.”

Understanding the importance of addressing trauma, researchers and clinicians have made progress defining best practices for treating it and even preventing it when possible. Key principles recommended by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration include safety, trustworthiness and transparency, peer support, collaboration and mutuality, empowerment and sensitivity to cultural, historical and gender issues.

Matlow and his colleagues encouraged the government to keep these guidelines in mind as officials craft their approach to interacting with immigrant children and families. Among other suggestions, they recommended housing families together in community settings and offering them different options for placement as they await court proceedings.

Such a trauma-informed approach would benefit both immigrant families and the communities receiving them, Matlow told me:

If folks are received in a way where they’re treated with respect and openness and honesty, if they feel empowered and knowledgeable about what the immigration process in the United State means, it sets them on a pathway toward greater productivity and being functioning, contributing members of society.

Photo by Maria Elena Zuñiga

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles