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How Does Stress Change Children’s Brain Structure?

How Does Stress Change Children’s Brain Structure?



How Does Stress Change Children's Brain Structure?  Our brain is an extraordinary body. He’s responsible for our thoughts and feelings. My muscles tell me to move or wait and wait. Depending on what happens in the neighborhood, it can grow or shrink. Research shows that the difficulties of childhood can also be an important influence. And, living stress can permanently change the size and shape of the brain. Children with depressed, anxious, depressed youngsters who have experienced too much stress before six years of age and who are growing up are different from the brains of adolescents who have had a childhood in comfortable and healthy conditions. These youngsters change their minds by continuously repeating the emotions triggered by events and memories by constantly internalizing the stresses they have experienced years ago.

How Does Stress Change Children's Brain Structure?  Physical and Mental Effects of Stress

Everyone is experiencing some stress in their daily life. There are a lot of things to come from a race and from the top, from business relations to work charts, to the dreams we have to reach our important goals. However, while the limited amount of stress is considered normal and useful, permanent and severe stress can be very harmful for physical and mental health. When a stress response is triggered, the body is undergoing a series of changes, such as the acceleration of the pulse, the increase of adrenaline, the departure of blood from the extremities, and the release of cortisol and other hormones that cause short- and long-term changes. It makes cortisol dangerous and remains in the system throughout the day. For this reason it is called “the number one enemy”.

Cortisol excess can lead to a number of physical health problems such as weight gain, osteoporosis, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cortisol also has serious effects on the brain. Cortisol can shrink, kill, and stop the production of new neurons in the hippocampus neurons, the brain part of the store. The hippocampus has critical prescription in learning, memory and emotional regulation. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is able to compensate for the adverse effects of a protein and stress hormone that keeps existing brain cells healthy and stimulates new brain cell formation. However, cortisol also inhibits BDNF production, resulting in the lowest incidence of new brain cells. Depression of BDNF levels also paves the way for diseases such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. As a result of glutamate excess in the body, cortisolin attacks the brain cells, oxygen molecules attack the free radicals (oxygen molecules) created by glutamate, and the holes they open on the walls of the brain cells cause cells to die.

Chronic stress and an overactive autonomic nervous system affect people’s health negatively. The first symptoms are relatively light, such as chronic headaches and increased sensitivity to colds. However, as people become more exposed to chronic stress, health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, tooth and gum disease, hair loss, obesity, ulcers develop . Stress also reduces the prefrontal cortex. This negatively affects the control of decision making, working memory and impulsive behavior. Stress-reducing of critical neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and dopamine, makes the person prone to depression and addiction.

Physical symptoms of stress in children include decreased appetite, changes in eating habits, headache, newly emerging or recurrent bedwetting, sleeping disorders, nightmares, nausea or vomiting stomach pain. Among emotional or behavioral statements in stressed children, anxiety, emerging or recurrent fears (fear from darkness, fear from being alone, fear from strangers), anger, crying, whining, unable to control emotions, aggressive and persistent behavior, inclination to participate in family and school activities.

How Does Stress Change Children's Brain Structure?  Permanent Effects of Stress on the Form and Size of the Brain

Scientists already knew that the shape and dimensions of child brains could change as a response to the strange life. It was also known that children exploited, growing in poverty, or experiencing various traumas, were more likely to enter depression in adulthood. Some studies have shown that these depressed adults have unusual changes in the shape and size of their brains. However, it was not known whether the stress experienced in the early years and the persistent brain changes that occurred after years were related or not.

The researchers in England studied this connection on about 500 boys, from birth to 18-21 years of age. During those years, mothers responded to research questions about the different types of stress their children have experienced. Was there a parent’s death? Did the mother suffer harassment? Has the child experienced harassment? Was the family poor? Are they moving and moving too often? After the children reached puberty, the increasing questions included whether the young people appeared depressed, depressed or anxious. Then, when the children reach adulthood, the research team collects images of brain structures using technology known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

How Does Stress Change Children's Brain Structure?  Effects on the Amounts of Stressed White and Gray Matter

The brain is composed mostly of white and gray matter. By functioning like a subway system in the white matter mind; connects the different areas of the gray matter and helps to move messages quickly. The gray matter covers the surface of the brain. It is made out of gray cells and special cells, partly called neurons. Gray matter helps to direct the brain, such as commanding the muscles to immediately retract the hand when a hot object is touched. Researchers focus primarily on the amount of gray matter present.

According to the questionnaires, men who had suffered great distress before the age of six were either depressed or were introverted adolescents. The likelihood of these children growing up with gray matter changes was higher when compared to those who had a comfortable childhood. In some parts of the brain, the gray matter volume seemed to have shrunk. The upper frontal gyrus is a part of the brain that shows that some studies are linked to depression. According to the results of the study, young people who experienced a stressful child found less gray matter in this region of the brain than normal.

Meanwhile, another study of 393 mother-child pairs found evidence that stress is also an effect on white matter during different periods of neurological development. It is known that these effects are caused by differences in developmental processes that occur at different times of development. Numerous studies on past prenatal maternal stress, postnatal stress in the first four years of life, and stress in adolescence (12-16 years of age) have shown that prenatal and postnatal adverse events, including both childhood and adolescent exposure to stress, changes in the structural properties of white matter throughout the brain. Relationships between prenatal stress and white matter characteristics may be related to abnormalities of neurogenesis, affect the number and density of axons, and postnatal stress may affect processes related to myelination or radial growth of axons.

How Does Stress Change Children's Brain Structure?  Effects of Stressin Prekuneus Region

Again, there was more gray matter than usual in a different part of the brains of men who had experienced intense stress before the age of six. This area, called Prekuneus, is related to self-related mental image, episodic memory and visual-spatial concept. Prekuneus has also been associated with processes such as comparing people’s own personality traits with other people, reflective self-awareness, self-conscious self-awareness building. Scientists also think that this region is also linked to the task of dealing with information about abuse and other bad experiences, as the result of the excessive gray matter that prevailed in the brain, trying to cope with stress and abuse.

According to psychologist Sarah Jensen of Harvard Medical School specialists, researchers from London “King’s College”, one of the UK’s greatest financial supporters of scientific work, prekune set a kind of “default mode” for the brain. In healthy people, this default mode is activated during dreaming, thinking things that are not relevant to the subject, and self-reflection. However, when this default mode does not work correctly, there is an adjustment to the depression. According to research psychologist Barker, researchers are internalizing stress and problems, eventually associated with gray matter reduction. All the analyzes the team has done point out how important it is for children to talk to others when they feel annoyed.

If you think you have problems, if you are very worried or if you have a lot of depressive thoughts, it is also important to accumulate them for us and to protect your brainwork that you share with the knowledgeable people. What happens in the circle surrounding us affects our thoughts and feelings. If you can change something in your neighborhood, you can change the course of many things.

– Tomas Paus, Melissa Pangelinan, Lassi Björnholm, Sarah Jensen, NeuroImage, (2017), “Associations between prenatal, childhood, and adolescent stress and variations in white-matter properties in young men”.
– Sarah Jensen, Deborah H. Schwartz, Erin W. Dickie, Edward D. Barker, & quot; Effect of Early Advisability and Childhood Internalizing Symptoms on Brain Structure in Young Men & quot ;, Jamapediatrics, 2015.1486.

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