Early-life and pubertal stress differentially modulate grey matter development in human adolescents

Anna Tyborowska, Inge Volman, Hannah C.M. Niermann, J. Loes Pouwels, Sanny Smeekens, Antonius H.N. Cillessen, Ivan Toni, Karin Roelofs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Animal and human studies have shown that both early-life traumatic events and ongoing stress episodes affect neurodevelopment, however, it remains unclear whether and how they modulate normative adolescent neuro-maturational trajectories. We characterized effects of early-life (age 0–5) and ongoing stressors (age 14–17) on longitudinal changes (age 14 to17) in grey matter volume (GMV) of healthy adolescents (n = 37). Timing and stressor type were related to differential GMV changes. More personal early-life stressful events were associated with larger developmental reductions in GMV over anterior prefrontal cortex, amygdala and other subcortical regions; whereas ongoing stress from the adolescents’ social environment was related to smaller reductions over the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings suggest that early-life stress accelerates pubertal development, whereas an adverse adolescent social environment disturbs brain maturation with potential mental health implications: delayed anterior cingulate maturation was associated with more antisocial traits – a juvenile precursor of psychopathy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9201
    Number of pages11
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
    • BRAIN-DEVELOPMENT
    • CALLOUS-UNEMOTIONAL TRAITS
    • CHILDHOOD MALTREATMENT
    • CHILDREN
    • CONDUCT PROBLEMS
    • INTERNALIZING SYMPTOMS
    • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
    • STRUCTURAL MRI
    • VOXEL-BASED MORPHOMETRY

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