Experiencing interpersonal abuse in early life may affect cognitive skills, says study

New York: Experiencing interpersonal abuse before the age of 18 may affect the capacity to concentrate and stay focused during later life, a study has showed.

Representational image. Getty  Images

Representational image. Getty Images

Interpersonal abuse includes intimate partner abuse, adult survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, bullying and elder abuse.

The findings, appearing in the journal Brain and Behavior, revealed that this failure to concentrate was associated with abnormal connectivity in the brain, between the amygdala — a core region for emotion — and frontal areas that help maintain focus.

The study offers a new perspective on the long-term impact of psychological trauma years, if not decades, after childhood, the researchers said.

"Trauma during one's youth may not just cause difficulties with emotions later in life but may also impact day-to-day functioning like driving, working, education and relationships due to brain changes that stem from the trauma," said Michael Esterman, Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

For the study, the team compared two groups of young: one had a history of early life abuse, while the other did not.

Both groups performed a concentration test while their brain activity was measured.

The group that experienced trauma prior to 18 had worse concentration and abnormal communication between "emotional" regions (amygdala) and "attentional" regions of the brain (prefrontal cortex).

"Our results suggest that early psychological interventions could result in better cognitive abilities as an adult," Esterman said.

Updated Date: Apr 11, 2017 22:09 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See