A recent study shows how dangerous childhood trauma can be and how much it can affect the brain into adulthood. Specific alterations to crucial brain structures have been discovered for the first time.
Researchers are now raising awareness about the dangers of traumatic and stressful childhood events that can severely influence adulthood.
Here is what you need to know.
Childhood Trauma: a Path to Destruction
A team of researchers used MRI (magnetic resonance imagining) to scan 70 adults. The results are genuinely shocking.
35 adults were healthy, while 35, diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder). The team discovered a link between childhood traumatic stress and neural tissue volume. Also, specific alterations appeared for the first time to vital brain structures in the hippocampus and the amygdala.
Peter Silverstone is part of the recent study and a psychiatry professor at the University of Alberta in Canada. He released a statement discussing the shocking discovery.
“Now that we can actually identify which specific sub-regions of the amygdala or the hippocampus are permanently altered by incidents of childhood abuse, trauma or mistreatment, we can start to focus on how to mitigate or even potentially reverse these changes.”
Why are the amygdala and hippocampus so important?
According to scientists, these parts keep growing and evolving for a long time after birth. They’re also related to memory, fear, learning, stress, and the management of emotions.
Recent improvements in MRI scanning technology help us study those areas of the brain in detail and develop more efficient approaches.
What Should You Know
The more we know about how trauma and stress damage the brain and the specific areas within it, the better we can prevent or manage disorders. Also, being able to target treatments is vital.
Depression is one of the major causes of disability globally. Studies found that 1 in 10 people suffers from depression.
Finding better methods to understand and even treat depression could definitely depend on studies like the recent one.