Early Neglect Is Associated With Alterations in White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Functioning

University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Child Development (Impact Factor: 4.92). 03/2013; DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12069
Source: PubMed


Cognitive deficits have been reported in children who experienced early neglect, especially children raised in institutionalized settings. Previous research suggests that early neglect may differentially affect the directional organization of white matter in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This may be one mechanism to explain cognitive deficits associated with neglect. To test this idea, properties of white matter and neurocognitive performance were assessed in children who suffered early neglect and those raised in typical environments (n = 63, Mage = 11.75 years). As predicted, prefrontal white matter microstructure was affected, consistent with more diffuse organization, in children that suffered early neglect and this was related to neurocognitive deficits. Such findings underscore how early adversity may affect the PFC and explain cognitive deficits associated with neglect.

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Available from: Nagesh Adluru, Apr 01, 2014
    • "Data from diffusion tensor imaging studies suggest that childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced integrity of white matter tracts throughout the brain (Choi, Jeong, Polcari, Rohan, & Teicher, 2012; Choi, Jeong, Rohan, Polcari , & Teicher, 2009; Hanson et al., 2013; Huang, Gundapuneedi , & Rao, 2012; Jackowski et al., 2008). Similarly, a number of studies have reported reduced prefrontal volumes or cortical thickness following maltreatment (Andersen et al., 2008; De Bellis et al., 2002; Edmiston et al., 2011), particularly in emotion regulatory regions such as the OFC (Dannlowski et al., 2012; De Brito et al., 2013; Edmiston et al., 2011; Hanson et al., 2010; Kelly et al., 2013; Lim, Radua, & Rubia, 2014), anterior cingulate cortex (Dannlowski et al., 2012; Kelly et al., 2013) and mPFC (Van Harmelen et al., 2010). Structural differences in the hippocampus and amygdala as a result of maltreatment have been of great interest, given the relevance of these structures to mood disorders (Price & Drevets, 2010) and the animal literature suggesting that these regions are vulnerable to stress (McEwen, 1999; Moriceau, Roth, Okotoghaide, & Sullivan, 2004; Poeggel et al., 2003; Vyas, Mitra, Shankaranarayana Rao, & Chattarji, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood maltreatment is a serious individual, familial, and societal threat that compromises healthy development and is associated with lasting alterations to emotion perception, processing, and regulation (Cicchetti & Curtis, 2005; Pollak, Cicchetti, Hornung, & Reed, 2000; Pollak & Tolley-Schell, 2003). Individuals with a history of maltreatment show altered structural and functional brain development in both frontal and limbic structures (Hart & Rubia, 2012). In particular, previous research has identified hyperactive amygdala responsivity associated with childhood maltreatment (e.g., Dannlowski et al., 2012). However, less is known about the impact of maltreatment on the relationship between the amygdala and other brain regions. The present study employed an emotion processing functional magnetic resonance imaging task to examine task-based activation and functional connectivity in adults who experienced maltreatment as children. The sample included adults with a history of substantiated childhood maltreatment ( n = 33) and comparison adults ( n = 38) who were well matched on demographic variables, all of whom have been studied prospectively since childhood. The maltreated group exhibited greater activation than comparison participants in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. In addition, maltreated adults showed increased amygdala connectivity with the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. The results suggest that the intense early stress of childhood maltreatment is associated with lasting alterations to frontolimbic circuitry.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Development and Psychopathology
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    • "Specific working-memory, inhibitory control, and attentionalcognitive abilities comprise executive functions in the developmental cognitive neuroscience literature (Blair et al., 2014; Zelazo & Bauer, 2013). Early child neglect has been shown to be related to diffuse organization of white matter microstructure in PFC in adolescents, and this has been associated with neurocognitive deficits on tasks that involve assessments of cognitive control, behavioral regulation, and spatial planning (Hanson et al., 2013). The examination of self-control from different perspectives and time points in developmental research has led to a growing realization that large societal problems such as criminality often begin with individual difficulties in self-control (Moffitt et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood maltreatment represents a complex stressor, with the developmental timing, duration, frequency, and type of maltreatment varying with each child (Barnett, Manly, & Cicchetti, 1993; Cicchetti & Manly, 2001). Multiple brain regions and neural circuits are disrupted by the experience of child maltreatment (Cicchetti & Toth, in press; DeBellis et al., 2002; McCrory & Viding, 2010; Teicher, Anderson, & Polcari, 2012). These neurobiological compromises indicate the impairment of a number of important cognitive functions, including working memory and inhibitory control. The present study extends prior research by examining the effect of childhood maltreatment on neurocognitive functioning based on developmental timing of maltreatment, including onset, chronicity, and recency, in a sample of 3- to 9-year-old nonmaltreated ( n = 136) and maltreated children ( n = 223). Maltreated children performed more poorly on inhibitory control and working-memory tasks than did nonmaltreated children. Group differences between maltreated children based on the timing of maltreatment and the chronicity of maltreatment also were evident. Specifically, children who were maltreated during infancy, and children with a chronic history of maltreatment, exhibited significantly poorer inhibitory control and working-memory performance than did children without a history of maltreatment. The results suggest that maltreatment occurring during infancy, a period of major brain organization, disrupts normative structure and function, and these deficits are further instantiated by the prolonged stress of chronic maltreatment during the early years of life.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Development and Psychopathology
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    • "Studies have demonstrated neurological impacts as a result of less than optimal caregiving (e.g., Hanson et al., 2013; Strathearn, 2011). Neglect has been identified as " the most prevalent form of child maltreatment " (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2012, p. 6). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article is about the neural correlates of infant mental health and their correspondences to social emotional development. These correspondences are organized in terms of the definition of infant mental provided by Zero to Three (2001), centered on infants' capacities regarding the experience and expression of emotions, interpersonal relationships, and learning. We conclude with implications of these correspondences for counseling psychology-namely, working with children's caregivers to maximize children's healthy social and emotional development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Counseling Psychology
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