Researchers find brain damage linked to child abuse and neglect

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Four types of brain abnormalities identified

Abuse can damage the developing brain. Harvard researchers working at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., have identified four types of brain abnormalities identified with abuse and neglect experienced in childhood. The researchers further believe that early damage to the developing brain may lead to disorders such as anxiety and depression in adulthood. “A child’s interactions with the outside environment causes connections to form between brain cells,” researcher Martin Teicher explains. “Then these connections are pruned during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired.”