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Chapter 15 - Theneuroendocrine effects of early life trauma

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 summarizes available findings on the neuroendocrine effects of exposure to trauma during early development, with a focus on a role for such alterations in the increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders in adulthood. The principal components of the stress system are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the locus ceruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system and the extrahypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) systems. In addition, increased rates of major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been reported in maltreated children. The relationship between early adverse experiences and the development of adult psychopathology is likely mediated by alterations in neurobiological systems involved in the regulation of stress. Findings from the research would have important implications for the development of optimized treatment strategies that directly target different neurobiological pathways involved in depression and anxiety disorders in victims of early child maltreatment.
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The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease
The Hidden Epidemic
, pp. 157 - 165
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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