Past abuse leads to loss of gray matter in brains of adolescents
Adolescents who were abused and neglected have less gray matter in some areas of the brain than young people who have not been maltreated, a new Yale School of Medicine study shows.
The brain areas impacted by maltreatment may differ between boys and girls, may depend on whether the youths had been exposed to abuse or neglect, and may be linked to whether the neglect was physical or emotional.
The results, published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, show that 42 adolescent subjects who reported being either abused or neglected show a reduction in gray matter the tissue containing brain cells even though they had not been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
"Here we have teenagers who may not have a diagnosable illness but still have physical evidence of maltreatment," said Hilary Blumberg, associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Diagnostic Radiology and in the Yale Child Study Center, who is senior author of the study. "This could help to explain their trouble with school performance or increase their vulnerability to depression and behavioral difficulties."
The reduction of gray matter was seen in prefrontal areas, no matter whether the adolescent had been physically abused or emotionally neglected. However, in other areas of the brain the reductions depended upon the type of maltreatment the youth had experienced. For example, emotional neglect was associated with decreases in areas that regulate emotions.
The researchers also found gender differences in patterns of gray matter decreases. In boys, the reduction tended to be concentrated in areas of the brain associated with impulse control or substance abuse. In girls, the reduction seemed to be in areas of the brain linked to depression.
Blumberg stressed these deficits found in adolescents are likely not to be permanent.
"We have found that the brain, particularly in adolescents, shows a great deal of plasticity," she said. "It is critical to find ways to prevent maltreatment and to help the youths who have been exposed."
More information: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165:1069-1077
Provided by Yale University
- Biological links found between childhood abuse and adolescent depression Apr 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Abused, neglected children have lower IQ in teens Dec 22, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Lithium Builds Gray Matter in Bipolar Brains, Study Shows Apr 09, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain scans appear to show changes associated with violent behavior Jun 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders have less deep-gray brain matter May 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
9 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren't true.
Medical research 9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The human gut is loaded with commensal bacteria – "good" microbes that, among other functions, help the body digest food. The gastrointestinal tract contains literally trillions of such cells, and yet the ...
Medical research 4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
Medical research 4 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
Medical research 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
Medical research 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it's starting an unusual collaboration with the U.S. government to develop several antibiotics for both bioterrorism threats and bacterial infections resistant to current medicines.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children – one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia.
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Over the last decade, the number of American children who die each year awaiting an organ donation dropped by more than half, new research reveals. And increasing numbers of children are receiving ...
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0