London: Facing trauma in childhood can significantly change the structure of the brain, which may result in severe depression which could even be recurrent in adulthood, say researchers. The results from MRI scan images suggest that both childhood maltreatment and recurring depression are associated with similar reductions in the surface area of the insular cortex, part of the brain that regulates emotion and self-awareness.
This reduction in the brain could make a future relapse more likely; childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest risk factors for major depression in adulthood. “Given the impact of the insular cortex on brain functions such as emotional awareness, it’s possible that the changes we saw make patients less responsive to conventional treatments,” said lead researcher Nils Opel from the University of Munster in Germany. (IANS)
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