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Asia Pac Psychiatry. 2015 Sep;7(3):286-91. doi: 10.1111/appy.12172. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Brain area-related neurological soft signs in depressive patients with different types of childhood maltreatment.

Zhao H1,2, Guo W1,2, Niu W1,2, Zhong A1,2, Zhou X3.

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Department of Psychiatry, No.102 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, Changzhou, China.
Department of Psychology, Chang Zhou Peace Hospital, Changzhou, China.
Department of Neurology, Laboratory of Neurological Diseases, Changzhou No.2 People's Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Changzhou, China.



This study aims to investigate the effects of childhood maltreatment on neurological soft signs (NSS) associated with certain brain area in depressive patients.


One hundred three depressive patients were enrolled into this study, and evaluated by Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), brain area-related neurological examination scale, 24-item Hamilton Rating scale (HAMD24), the scale for suicidal ideation (SSI) and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS).


Patients undergoing childhood maltreatment exhibited higher frontal area-related NSS scores than patients without childhood maltreatment experience. Patients experiencing childhood emotional or physical neglect displayed more frontal area-related NSS compared to their respective non-maltreatment group. Moreover, physical neglect maltreatment caused more temporal area-related NSS. Patients suffering from childhood sexual abuse had more frontal, temporal and occipital area-related NSS than patients lacking experience of childhood sexual abuse. Further correlation analysis revealed that the total score of maltreatment positively correlated with frontal and temporal area-related NSS score. There was a positive correlation between emotional abuse, emotional neglect or physical abuse and frontal area-related NSS. Physical neglect and sexual abuse were positively associated with the temporal area-related NSS score. HAMD24 score was positively correlated with all brain area-related NSS score; The SSI score correlated with three area (excluded occipital area)-related NSS score. The BHS score only positively correlated with frontal area score of NSS. Finally, no significant association was found between suicidal frequencies and brain area-related NSS score.


Childhood maltreatment adversely affects the brain of depressive patients; the different maltreatment may impair different brain areas, especially frontal and temporal areas.


brain area; childhood maltreatment; depression; neurological soft sign

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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