Stress suffered in childhoodaccelerates brain maturation

Update: February 2019

Стрессовые ситуации, пережитые  в раннем детстве, приводят
to accelerate the maturation of certain parts of the brain in
adolescence. This conclusion was made by a group of researchers from
Radboud University, led by Professor Karin Rulovs.
The results of the observations are published on the website of the university.

The fact that the stress experienced in early childhood affects
brain development has been known for a long time. This theory is the same.
with the theory of evolutionary biology. For a long time, the hypothesis remained
unproven because there was no technology able to confirm
connection An MRI scan appeared, and in 1998 a study began
the results of which are obtained only now. Scientists not only
confirmed the hypothesis, but also gave an explanation why early
brain maturation is dangerous for mental health.

In the study, two types of stress factors were studied –
негативные жизненные ситуации и  негативное воздействие
social environment. The group of volunteers consisted of 129 children
observations were carried out in two periods of their life:

  • 0-5 years and
  • 14-17 years old.

The examination was carried out with the help of MRI: the level of maturation was studied
prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala
the brain. These departments are involved in the formation of social and
emotional behavior. Scientists have worked closely with children and their
parents, tracked social and emotional life.

The results of the study: stress in early childhood (for example,
due to divorce of parents, serious illness, death of loved ones) is associated
with accelerated maturation of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala
уже в adolescence. Negative social experience in
adolescence slowed the development of the hippocampus.

Despite a strong correlation, identify the causes of this
relationship failed. The conclusion of scientists is unequivocal: early maturation
brain makes it less plastic in mental terms. Children,
перенесшие стресс, тяжелее адаптируются  к жизни в обществе в
adolescence.

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