Arie Kaffman, MD, PhD

Research Scientist in and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Research Organizations

Connecticut Mental Health Center

Faculty Research

Research Summary

Roughly 1.5 million children are abused or neglected each year in this country and this alarming trend has been documented now for over 30 years. In the absence of effective interventions, maltreated children often go on to develop a host of behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and medical sequelae that can be chronic and in many cases refractory to treatment. The total economic burden associated with early life stress (ELS) is estimated at $247 billion annually, placing it on equal footing with the costs for all cancers combined. ELS causes similar behavioral abnormalities in many mammalian species, including nonhuman primates and rodents, suggesting that animal models may help elucidate the molecular and cellular changes that guide these developmental changes in children. We have developed several models of ELS in mice and are investigating the role that microglia play in mediating the effects of ELS on neurodevelopment and behavior in these animal models. This is an innovative neuroimmunological approach that stems from a recent discovery that microglia, which are macrophages-like cells that populate the brain early in life, play a critical role in many aspects of normal neurodevelopment and are also highly sensitive to stress.

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Arie Kaffman, MD, PhD
Mailing Address
Department of Psychiatry300 George St
New Haven, CT 06511
Working model

Early life stress alters microglia function in the developing brain leading to several developmental and behavioral abnormalities