Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Abuse May Alter Child's Brain Activity

Abuse May Alter Child's Brain Activity

12/09/11

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are abused or exposed to family violence have changes in brain activity similar to those seen in combat veterans, a new study finds.

The brains of these children become increasingly "tuned" for identifying possible sources of danger, said U.K. researchers who used functional imaging to monitor brain activity.

When the study authors showed pictures of angry faces to children with a history of abuse, the children's brains showed increased activity in the anterior insula and amygdala, which are involved in detecting threat and anticipating pain.

These changes don't indicate brain damage but are the brain's way of adapting to a challenging or dangerous environment, study author Eamon McCrory, of University College London, explained.

The study appears in the Dec. 6 issue of the journal Current Biology.

"Enhanced reactivity to a biologically salient threat cue such as anger may represent an adaptive response for these children in the short term, helping keep them out of danger," McCrory said in a journal news release. "However, it may also constitute an underlying neurobiological risk factor increasing their vulnerability to later mental health problems, and particularly anxiety."

The findings are important because of the large numbers of children who are exposed to family violence.

"This underlines the importance of taking seriously the impact for a child of living in a family characterized by violence. Even if such a child is not showing overt signs of anxiety or depression, these experiences still appear to have a measurable effect at the neural level," McCrory said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about child abuse.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >