Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities: Abuse could lead to permanent brain damage

Date:
June 18, 2014
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Scientists have analyzed the association between childhood maltreatment and the volume of cerebral grey matter, responsible for processing information. The results revealed a significant deficit in various late developing regions of the brain after abuse According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), child maltreatment is defined as all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

An international study has analyzed the association between childhood maltreatment and the volume of cerebral grey matter, responsible for processing information. The results revealed a significant deficit in various late developing regions of the brain after abuse.
Credit: HaywireMedia / Fotolia

An international study has analysed the association between childhood maltreatment and the volume of cerebral grey matter, responsible for processing information. The results revealed a significant deficit in various late developing regions of the brain after abuse.

Related Articles


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), child maltreatment is defined as all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

Until now, the results of structural neuroimaging studies carried out have been inconsistent. A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and carried out by experts at London's King's College and the FIDMAG, Sisters Hospitallers Foundation for Research and Teaching, has provided new findings.

"Childhood maltreatment acts as a severe stressor that produces a cascade of physiological and neurobiological changes that lead to enduring alterations in the brain structure," Joaquim Radua, researcher at FIDMAG and the British centre said.

In order to understand the most robust abnormalities in grey matter volumes, the research team, which includes the National University of Singapore, carried out a meta-analysis of the voxel based morphometric study on childhood maltreatment.

VBM is a neuroimaging analysis technique that allows investigation of focal differences in brain anatomy comparing magnetic brain resonance of two groups of people.

The study included twelve different groups of data made up of a total of 331 individuals (56 children or adolescents and 275 adults) with a history of childhood maltreatment, plus 362 individuals who were not exposed to maltreatment (56 children or adolescents and 306 adults).

In order to examine the cerebral regions with more or less grey matter volumes in maltreated individuals, a three-dimensional meta-analytical neuroimaging method was used called 'signed differential mapping' (SDM), developed expressly by Radua.

Abnormalities not related to medication

Relative to comparison subjects, individuals exposed to childhood maltreatment exhibited significantly smaller grey matter volumes: in the right orbitofrontal/superior temporal gyrus extending to the amygdala, insula, and parahippocampal and middle temporal gyri and in the left inferior frontal and postcentral gyri.

"Deficits in the right orbitofrontal-temporal-limbic and left inferior frontal regions remained in a subgroup analysis of unmedicated participants, indicating that these abnormalities were not related to medication but to maltreatment," indicated Radua.

On the other hand, the Spanish expert pointed out that abnormalities in the left postcentral gyrus were found only in older maltreated individuals. These findings show that the most consistent grey matter abnormalities in individuals exposed to childhood maltreatment are located in ventrolateral prefrontal and limbic-temporal regions.

These regions have relatively late development, i.e. after the maltreatment and the malfunction could explain the affective and cognitive deficit of people with a history of child abuse.

"These findings show the serious consequences of adverse childhood environments on brain development," adds Radua.

"We hope the results of this study will help to reduce environmental risks during childhood and to develop treatments to stabilise these morphologic alterations," he concludes.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lena Lim, Joaquim Radua, Katya Rubia. Gray Matter Abnormalities in Childhood Maltreatment: A Voxel-Wise Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2014; DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13101427

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities: Abuse could lead to permanent brain damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618071930.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2014, June 18). Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities: Abuse could lead to permanent brain damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618071930.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities: Abuse could lead to permanent brain damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618071930.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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