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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Aug 30;254:92-102. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.06.007. Epub 2016 Jun 18.

Cumulative trauma, adversity and grief symptoms associated with fronto-temporal regions in life-course persistent delinquent boys.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Department of Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address: alansing@ucsd.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Department of Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Abstract

Delinquent youth have substantial trauma exposure, with life-course persistent delinquents [LCPD] demonstrating notably elevated cross-diagnostic psychopathology and cognitive deficits. Because adolescents remain in the midst of brain and neurocognitive development, tailored interventions are key to improving functional outcomes. This structural magnetic resonance imaging study compared neuroanatomical profiles of 23 LCPD and 20 matched control adolescent boys. LCPD youth had smaller overall gray matter, and left hippocampal, volumes alongside less cortical surface area and folding within the left pars opercularis and supramarginal cortex. LCPD youth had more adversity-related exposures, and their higher Cumulative Trauma, Adversity and Grief [C-TAG] symptoms were associated with less surface area and folding in the pars opercularis and lingual gyrus. Neuroanatomical differences between LCPD and control youth overlap with data from both maltreatment and antisocial literatures. The affected left frontal regions also share connections to language- and executive-related functions, aligning well with LCPD youths' cognitive and behavioral difficulties. These data also dovetail with research suggesting the possibility of neurodevelopmental delays or disruptions related to cumulative adversity burden. Thus, concurrent treatment of LCPD youths' C-TAG symptoms and, cognitive deficits with overlapping neuroanatomical bases, may be most effective in improving outcomes and optimizing neurodevelopmental trajectories.

KEYWORDS:

Complex trauma; Cumulative adversity; Fronto-temporal regions; Grief; Life-course persistent delinquent youth; Loss; Structural magnetic resonance imaging

PMID:
27388804
PMCID:
PMC4992608
DOI:
10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.06.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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