Home » Glossary

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic childhood experiences, having lifelong negative effects on brain function and health. ACEs can have a profound impact on risk and severity of physical disease, difficulty with concentration, learning, emotional and behavior regulation.

Examples:  emotional and physical neglect; emotional, physical and sexual abuse; loss or separation from a parent; witnessing violence within the home or community; poverty; food and home insecurity; being the victim of discrimination or bullying, and more.


A process or series of events which proceed from one step to another.  Each stage depends on or acts on the product of the previous step.

Examples:  a signaling cascade when one chemical messenger acts on a receptor which then amplifies the signal, causing formation of a second signal, and so on, eventually resulting in an action;  one physiologic cascade is the process of blood clotting.


Continuously changing.  A pattern or process of activity, growth or change.


Study of the nervous system:  the brain, the nerves, the networks.