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May 30, 2018 Wednesday 04:17:28 PM IST

Child Abuse Leaves Lasting Impact On Moods and Emotions

Parent Interventions

It has been long known that child abuse increases a person’s lifetime risk of psychiatric illness, including depression and suicide. A new research by Naguib Mechawar and Gustavo Turecki from the Canada-based McGill Group for Suicide Studies explains the process through which abuse modifies brain wiring. 

The research, which compares the brains of depressed suicides with or without a history of severe child abuse, and of healthy controls, pointed out key modifications in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC), a brain region that regulates moods and emotions. 

“Our results demonstrate that gene expression is strongly altered in a class of cells called oligodendrocytes in the ACC. This class of cells is responsible for producing myelin an insulating compound. Myelin-coated axons transmit nerve impulses efficiently, while a loss of myelin is associated with loss of transmission efficiency,” says Dr. Mechawar.

(Indebted to various sources)

Do we need special awareness programmes against child abuse in schools?