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Neurobiol Aging. 2003 May-Jun;24 Suppl 1:S61-5; discussion S67-8.

Who cares for a stressed brain? The mother, the kid or both?

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  • 1Division of Medical Pharmacology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research and Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Data are emerging that the altered development of adrenocortical and emotional reactivity in individuals exposed perinatally to adverse events is reflected in cognitive change and that maternal care is an important determinant. However, early trauma does not cause a generalized cognitive decline at older age, but rather drives cognitive performance to the extremes, at the expense of the average performance demonstrated by normally reared individuals.

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