Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes

Date:
February 26, 2010
Source:
Trinity College Dublin
Summary:
New research using magnetic resonance imaging shows that childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect, in particular when combined with genetic factors, can result in structural brain changes, rendering these people more vulnerable to developing depression.

New research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows that childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect, in particular when combined with genetic factors, can result in structural brain changes, rendering these people more vulnerable to developing depression.

The study led by scientists at Trinity College Dublin has just been published in the international scientific journal, Neuropsychopharmacology.

Commenting on the significance of the findings, Trinity's Professor Thomas Frodl at the School of Medicine and Trinity Institute for Neuroscience said: "This improved neurobiological understanding shows how stress and genetic variants interact and affect brain structure and function. In turn it demonstrates how it could affect a person's propensity for depression. These structural alterations of the brain are associated with a higher vulnerability to depression and a more chronic course of the depression might be associated with further structural changes."

"Therefore, early intervention in the case of major depression is necessary to increase the chance of a good disease outcome. Fortunately, depression can be treated very well by psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. Moreover, prevention strategies for childhood neglect and misuse are highly important to increase public health and to avoid in later life for these individuals, the burden of major depression."

The world health organisation (WHO) found that major depression is one of the most important human diseases with a prevalence of about 10% worldwide. Approximately 500,000 people in Ireland have or will develop major depression in their life. The WHO has forecast that major depression will be the second most common cause of disability by 2020. Advances in this area will have a high impact on overall disease costs.

The study was conducted on a total of 24 patients (aged 18-65 years) being treated as inpatients for major depression. They were investigated with high-resolution structural MRI and childhood stress asessments. Special analysis programmes were used to measure brain regions. These patients were compared with 27 healthy control subjects from the local community who were matched for age and gender. Further research is needed in a larger number of patients and controls to identify the underlying causes of depression and stress-gene interaction on brains structure as well as function.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Trinity College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Trinity College Dublin. "Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122705.htm>.
Trinity College Dublin. (2010, February 26). Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122705.htm
Trinity College Dublin. "Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122705.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins