Early childhood stress affects brain’s response to rewards

DURHAM, N.C. — A Duke University-led study has pinpointed how early childhood stress affects the adult brain’s response to rewards. Their findings suggest a possible pathway by which childhood stress may increase risk of depression and other mental health problems in adulthood. Many studies have connected early life stress to later mental health issues for adults, but little is understood about the reasons for this connection. The new study published in the current issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relations between early life stress and reward-related brain activity in adults. Participants in the study were closely monitored beginning in kindergarten and then were scanned using brain imaging when they were adults. The participants were all part of the Fast Track…


Link to Full Article: Early childhood stress affects brain’s response to rewards