Child Abuse Leaves Lasting Impact On Moods and Emotions
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)