I thought this well written and easy-to-read article, How Your Great Grandmother’s Habits Could’ve Altered Your Genes, really brings home these points. As the author states, “It is quite phenomenal to think that the environment and the factors your ancestors were exposed to could be responsible for your likelihood to develop schizophrenia, depression, obesity, and more." How very true this can be!
I feel blessed and so fortunate for the multigenerational influences in my life, and ultimately my own children’s lives, like great-Grandma Toman, pictured here in the front passenger seat, who came to America from Czechoslovakia in the late 1800s. And my grandmother who is in the back seat – what a legacy of resilience and perseverance they embodied! I thank God for the traits and unlimited capacity for love they both passed on to our family that serves us so well every single day.
We’ve written before about the effects of transgenerational trauma and why it is critical to look at not just the present-day situation, but to consider the past as well. With our patients and especially the children AND their families struggling with PANS and PANDAS who are so deeply traumatized, we must never ignore this aspect of the swirling biological and environmental factors that fuel disease. We have to provide the means to enrich each patient’s experience and the lives of all those who also are affected by a loved one’s illness. And that’s what drives us every day – it’s not just a mission, it’s likely part of our genes too!
In health and hope,
Dr. Suzanne Gazda