Brain wiring behind conduct disorder
Behavioural problems in young people with severe anti-social behaviour -- known as conduct disorder -- could be caused by differences in the brain's wiring that link the brain's emotional centres together, according to new research led by the University of Birmingham.
Conduct disorder affects around 1 in 20 children and teenagers and is characterised by a wide range of anti-social or aggressive behaviours such as vandalism, weapon use and harm to others. It is often also associated with other disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, or depression. scientists in the University's Centre for Human Brain Health and the Institute for Mental Health have found that there are distinctive differences in white matter pathways (the brain's structural wiring) among young people who have the condition.The researchers found that the differences in the ‘corpus callosum’ were linked to callous behaviour, including deficits in empathy and a disregard for other people's feelings.