Learning the value of environmental signals and using that information to guide behavior is critical for survival. Stress in childhood may influence these processes, but how it does so is still unclear.
How does stress put some children at risk of psychiatric disorders when they grow up? To find out, researchers compared their genomes to those of kids whose childhoods were relatively tranquil.
Individuals who have experienced chronic and high levels of stress during their childhoods are at increased risk for a wide range of behavioral problems, yet the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this association are poorly understood.
Title: Amygdala and hippocampal volume is reduced in children exposed to different forms of adversity Legend: Volumetric comparisons for the left amygdala (A) and left (B) and right (C) hippocampus. For each graph, standardized residuals controlling …
Abused children tend to develop lifelong emotional and physical problems, and now UW-Madison scientists may have found a biological reason: Maltreatment appears to turn off a gene that regulates stress.
For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it — chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse — can have lasting negative impacts.
During the sort of tense situation that makes palms sweat and voices quaver, children and young adults are typically awash in cortisol, a stress hormone that sounds an alarm and prepares the body for fight-or-flight responses to danger.