Childhood trauma is a major factor when it comes to psychiatric disease so therefore there is a need to identify certain markers of the diseases vulnerability. To better understand how it works it is important that we do the research during childhood and adolescent years because during this time the neural networks in the brain are malleable, and typically when we see psychiatric disorders occur. In this certain study they looked at a common factor in the brain, BDNF gene, and whether it interacts with childhood trauma to predict the limbic grey matter volume. These data proved evidence for a contribution of a common BDNF gene variant that correlates to the neural childhood trauma. Altered limbic structure in your early life may cause long term neural dysfunction.
Giannopoulou, I. (2012). Neurobiological inscriptions of psychological trauma during early childhood. Psychiatriki, 23(Suppl 1), 27-38.
Many different factors, such as genetic and environmental, come into play with when it comes to neurodevelopment, and detailed investigation has allowed to provide an understanding in how stress or trauma during childhood affects cognitive, social, and social development. The limbic system is linked to emotional experiences, reactions, and memory. Therefore, looking at the limbic system allows us to see how early exposure to stress or trauma can lead to dysfunctional behaviors. Maltreatment of children is also related to alterations of brain function and structure. Neuropsychological assessment of children who have been through trauma or stress is found to be important because it allows for a neurobiological understanding and intervention.
Moog, N. K., Entringer, S., Rasmussen, J. M., Styner, M., Gilmore, J. H., Kathmann, N., & … Buss, C. (2017). Intergenerational effect of maternal exposure to childhood maltreatment on newborn brain anatomy. Biological Psychiatry, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.07.009
A study was done to look at Childhood maltreatment and how its exposure may affect a child’s brain structure and that its effect may start in the intrauterine period of life. They conducted a study using a Childhood trauma Questionnaire, and looked at newborn global and regional tissue. The study concluded that maternal Cm exposure effects child brain development and may have neurodevelopmental consequences.
Rinne-Albers, M. W., van der Wee, N. A., Lamers-Winkelman, F., & Vermeiren, R. M. (2013). Neuroimaging in children, adolescents and young adults with psychological trauma. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 22(12), 745-755. doi:10.1007/s00787-013-0410-1
The main idea of this article is to give an overview of the study of neuroimaging of juveniles and young adults. While there has been a lot of research, the effects of trauma on the developing human brain are not very known. Many of the research was performed by small research groups and their findings were scarce when it came to juveniles and adults. The most luck they had was when it came to children and adolescents and structural abnormalities due to psychological trauma.
Teicher, M. H., Andersen, S. L., Polcari, A., Anderson, C. M., & Navalta, C. P. (2002). Developmental neurobiology of childhood stress and trauma. Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, 25(2), 397-426. doi:10.1016/S0193-953X(01)00003-X
The article talks about two lines of research based off of severe exposure to stress before onset of puberty. One line investigates the molecular, cellular, and behavioral level. The second line looks at the neuromorphology, brain activity, and neuropsychiatric health. Both of these lines are based focus on the effects of the early experiences and development.