Mental Attitude: Childhood Neglect May Affect Brain Development.
A new study finds that severe childhood neglect may cause structural changes to the brain, but early intervention may reverse such alterations. Researchers found that children who remained in institutional care exhibited structural changes in certain areas of the brain’s white matter which facilitate communication between different areas of the brain. However, they found that children who had been moved from institutional care to foster care had white matter similar to that of children who had never been in institutional care, suggesting that the movement to foster care reversed the white matter abnormalities. The researchers write, “Our findings have important implications for public health related to early prevention and intervention for children reared in conditions of severe neglect or adverse contexts more generally.” JAMA Pediatrics, January 2015