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Chapter 11 - Neurobiology of childhood trauma and adversity

from Section 2 - Biological approaches to early life trauma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Ruth A. Lanius
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario
Eric Vermetten
Affiliation:
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Clare Pain
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

This chapter presents new data suggesting that there are sensitive periods when particular brain regions may be most susceptible to the effects of abuse. New findings looking at the neurobiological correlates of exposure to other forms of adversity is considered including parental verbal abuse (PVA), peer verbal bullying (VB) and witnessing domestic violence (WDV). The effect of childhood trauma on the development of the left versus right hemisphere was investigated using electroencephalograph (EEG) coherence, which provides information regarding the nature of the brain's wiring and circuitry. Childhood maltreatment research has focused primarily on the effects of physical abuse (PA), sexual abuse (SA) or WDV. By comparison, PVA has received little attention as a specific form of abuse. Childhood adversity accounts for 50-75% of the population attributable risk for alcoholism, depression, suicidal behavior and drug abuse.
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The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease
The Hidden Epidemic
, pp. 112 - 122
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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