Responsible: Prof. Dr. med. Claude P. Muller


EpiPath investigates the role of a well-defined health determinant - exposure to ELA - on the development of disease conditions in adulthood. The target population are individuals that were adopted during the 1990s from orphanages worldwide. All the recruited individuals had experienced severe ELA. As a result, they have an increased risk for (i) cardiovascular and (ii) infectious diseases as well as for (iii) mental health problems and (iv) stress-related conditions: four of the most important public health problems. Moreover, adoption of children from very adverse environments in developing countries have become popular. Thus our study contributes to a better management of an increasing group of children and adults with ELA-associated risk factors. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this project explores the role of epigenetic mechanisms, by collecting large sets of epigenetic, environmental, behavioural, and psychological data from these subjects, as well as functional data on the status of their immune, cardiovascular and stress response systems. Integrating these data will provide a broad and unique insight on the influence of ELA on the development of adult disease.

EpiPath is funded jointly by the FNR (Luxembourg) and the DFG (Germany), and being performed in collaboration with Hartmut Schächinger and Claus Voegele (Uni.Lu)