ACE's or Adverse Childhood Experiences CHANGE a child's brain for life
The agony and terror of circumcision have lasting, measurable effects on the brain, physically altering it forever
Epigenetics and Child Development: How Children’s Experiences Affect Their Genes https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/what-is-epigenetics-and-how-does-it-relate-to-child-development/
Although frequently misunderstood, adverse fetal and early childhood experiences can—and do—lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain that can last a lifetime.
Injurious experiences, such as malnutrition, exposure to chemical toxins or drugs, and toxic stress before birth or in early childhood are not “forgotten,” but rather are built into the architecture of the developing brain through the epigenome. The “biological memories” associated with these epigenetic changes can affect multiple organ systems and increase the risk not only for poor physical and mental health outcomes but also for impairments in future learning capacity and behavior.
Childhood Trauma Permanently Scars Brain, And Boosts Likelihood Of Depression
Stress and trauma in earliest years linked to reduced hippocampal volume in adolescence
Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Thickness Is Related to Alexithymia in Childhood Trauma-Related PTSD
Alexithymia, or “no words for feelings”, is highly prevalent in samples with childhood maltreatment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been identified as a key region involved in alexithymia, early life trauma, and PTSD.
Functional alterations in the dACC also have been associated with alexithymia in PTSD. This study examined whether dACC morphology is a neural correlate of alexithymia in child maltreatment-related PTSD.
Sixteen adults with PTSD and a history of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, or exposure to domestic violence, and 24 healthy controls (HC) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20 (TAS–20) and underwent magnetic resonance imaging.
Cortical thickness of the dACC was measured using FreeSurfer, and values were correlated with TAS–20 scores, controlling for sex and age, in both groups. Average TAS–20 score was significantly higher in the PTSD than the HC group. TAS–20 scores were significantly positively associated with dACC thickness only in the PTSD group.
This association was strongest in the left hemisphere and for TAS–20 subscales that assess difficulty identifying and describing feelings. We found that increasing dACC gray matter thickness is a neural correlate of greater alexithymia in the context of PTSD with childhood maltreatment. While findings are correlational, they motivate further inquiry into the relationships between childhood adversity, emotional awareness and expression, and dACC morphologic development in trauma-related psychopathology.
In the human brain, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is the frontal part of the cingulate cortex that resembles a "collar" surrounding the frontal part of the corpus callosum. It consists of Brodmann areas 24, 32, and 33.
It appears to play a role in a wide variety of autonomic functions, such as regulating blood pressure and heart rate.
It is also involved in certain higher-level functions, such as attention allocation, reward anticipation, decision-making, ethics and morality, impulse control (e.g. performance monitoring and error detection), and emotion.
Stress and trauma in earliest years linked to reduced hippocampal volume in adolescence https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/12/19/stress-and-trauma-in-earliest-years-linked-to-reduced-hippocampal-volume-in-adolescence/?fbclid=IwAR0VaWVlSPKRL_CCuVOxMiNx08jKrsCOmUQ3pmKR64ZogLs_P8x03YAiTSsCHILDHOOD MALTREATMENT PREDICTS REDUCED INHIBITION‐RELATED ACTIVITY IN THE ROSTRAL ANTERIOR CINGULATE IN PTSD, BUT NOT TRAUMA‐EXPOSED CONTROLS https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/da.22506Findings highlight individual differences in neural function following childhood trauma, and point to inhibition‐related activation in rostral ACC as a risk factor for PTSD.
Early Life Stress and Morphometry of the Adult Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Caudate Nuclei
Early life stress (ELS) is linked to adult psychopathology and may contribute to long-term brain alterations, as suggested by studies of women who suffered childhood sexual abuse. We examine whether reported adverse ELS defined as stressful and/or traumatic adverse childhood events (ACEs) is associated with smaller limbic and basal ganglia volumes.
Reported ELS is associated with smaller ACC and caudate volumes, but not the hippocampal or amygdala volumes. The reasons for these brain effects are not entirely clear, but may reflect the influence of early stress and traumatic events on the developing brain.
Childhood Trauma Exposure Disrupts the Automatic Regulation of Emotional Processing
Results showed that trauma-exposed youth failed to dampen dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and engage amygdala–pregenual cingulate inhibitory circuitry during the regulation of emotional conflict, and were less able to regulate emotional conflict. In addition, trauma-exposed youth showed greater conflict-related amygdala reactivity that was associated with diminished levels of trait reward sensitivity. These data point to a trauma-related deficit in automatic regulation of emotional processing, and increase in sensitivity to emotional conflict in neural systems implicated in threat detection. Aberrant amygdala response to emotional conflict was related to diminished reward sensitivity that is emerging as a critical stress-susceptibility trait that may contribute to the emergence of mental illness during adolescence. These results suggest that deficits in conflict regulation for emotional material may underlie heightened risk for psychopathology in individuals that endure early-life trauma.
ACE What are ACE?
Stop Abuse Campaign
Adverse Childhood Experiences Psychology
IA's ACEs quiz includes genital cutting. http://adversechildhoodexperiences.net