The results of a new study by researchers from Boston’s Harvard Medical School have shown that those who were the victims of abuse during childhood have a higher likelihood that portions of the brain will be underdeveloped. The study, released by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a variety of abusive tactics used against children led to underdevelopment of the brain due to severe stress.
The study used 193 adults who were between the ages of 18 and 25 years old and interviewed them concerning whether they had ever been subject to abuse. Researchers then scanned their brains via an MRI machine to see if they were altered in any way. Affected patients reported suffering from a variety of abusive techniques ranging from “parental verbal aggression” to “harsh corporal punishment.”
Specifically, the study found that childhood abuse victims had an average of 5.8% to 6.5% less volume in important parts of the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays an important role in memory and emotional processing, but results from the study did not reach a conclusion on what the effects were of having an underdeveloped one, although there may be a connection to the higher degree of mental illness found in those who have suffered child abuse. As the hippocampus is still developing during childhood, major stress at that time can lead to its improper formation.
Any form of child abuse can result in devastating physical and psychological effects for a child. If you believe your child has been abused by another, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible. The child abuse lawyers in San Diego are dedicated to helping you and your child in any way we can and winning the compensation you both deserve. For more information, call us today for a free consultation from our experienced legal team.