Quantcast
Connect with us

Study: Child abuse causes depression and substance abuse

Published

on

Children who suffer or witness physical abuse undergo changes to their brain structure that may predispose them to depression and substance abuse later in life, a study said Wednesday.

The finding holds promise for early detection and pre-emptive counselling already in adolescence — a crucial phase of physical and emotional development and brain maturation, say researchers in the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT

Using a specialised MRI scanning technique, “we identified microstructural disruption at certain locations of the white matter tracts of adolescents who experienced maltreatment during childhood,” researcher Hao Huang told AFP.

White matter tracts or nerve fibres, comparable to computer network cables, connect the grey matter in the brain’s different processing regions — transmitting signals to ensure they “talk” with each other efficiently.

Nineteen adolescents who had suffered physical or sexual abuse before the age of 10 or witnessed domestic violence that lasted six months or longer, took part in the study, as well as a control group of 13 with no abuse history.

Those in the abused group were physically and mentally healthy at the time they were recruited at an average age of 16, and were not abusing alcohol or drugs at the time.

ADVERTISEMENT

All the teenagers were followed at six-month intervals for up to five years.

“We found that adolescents with maltreatment history who had disrupted white matter tracts during the initial recruitment were more likely to develop depressive and addictive disorders,” said Huang of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre’s Advanced Imaging Research Centre.

Five of the 19 abuse victims developed depression later, compared to one in the control group, while four became substance abusers compared to one control teenager.

ADVERTISEMENT

Two from the maltreated group developed both conditions, said the study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

The adolescents exposed to childhood abuse as well as those who later developed depression had significantly lower FA values — a measure of white matter efficiency.

“We believe that… brain scans might be helpful in identifying youngsters who are at high risk for developing these disorders and target them for early preventive intervention,” said Huang.

ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier studies had observed similar white matter changes in individuals with a history of abuse, but this was the first to find a link to later psychological problems.

Huang said the exact mechanism by which the white matter tracts were disrupted was not yet understood and required further investigation.

[Girl crying via Shutterstock]

ADVERTISEMENT

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump-worshipping artist unveils insanely disturbing new painting — and the internet is having a field day

Published

on

Jon McNaughton, the Trump-loving artist whose worshipful portraits of the president have drawn comparisons to North Korean propaganda, has unveiled a new painting that many Twitter users find deeply disturbing.

The new painting, which is titled "The Masterpiece," features President Donald Trump sitting at an easel and preparing to unveil a painting of his own.

Continue Reading

Facebook

‘This is the Titanic, it’s already hit the rock and it’s sinking’: MSNBC pundit says of Trump’s recent polling

Published

on

The Republican Party is going to need every dime it is raising to re-elect President Donald Trump because if the election was held today, he'd lose.

Jason Johnson, editor of "The Root," explained during an MSNBC panel discussion Tuesday that things aren't looking good for the president's numbers. Since 2016, Trump has lost three points with men, 19 percentage points with women, 19 with white Americans without a college degree and 23 percent with Independent voters. That's the ball game.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by 0.77 percent; he won Michigan by 0.23 percent and 0.72 percent in Pennsylvania. As Johnson explained, there's nothing that the national Republican Party and the Trump campaign can do to win except hope a foreign government hacks the election.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Trump-loving game show host sets off a tsunami of mockery by claiming ‘racism has nothing to do with race’

Published

on

Chuck Woolery, who formerly hosted TV gameshows such as "Love Connection," "Scrabble," and "The Dating Game," has reinvented himself as one of the most vocal pro-Trump voices on Twitter. His observations generate their fair share of backlash and mockery, and a tweet he fired off this Monday was no exception.

According to Woolery, racism is a concept dreamed up by the "Progressive Left" for "attention."

https://twitter.com/chuckwoolery/status/1163455679849533440

"RACISM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE," Woolery tweeted. "Racism is the Progressive Left crying out for attention. If you disagree with the ProgressiveLeft. They consider you a Racist. They are desperate to hold on to the Black Vote."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image