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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1993 Summer;5(3):301-6.

Early childhood abuse and limbic system ratings in adult psychiatric outpatients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


The authors investigated the hypothesis that early abuse might affect the development of the limbic system. During initial psychiatric evaluation, 253 outpatients completed a self-report scale, the Limbic System Checklist-33 (LSCL-33), designed to measure somatic, sensory, behavioral, and memory symptoms suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy, along with a questionnaire about physical or sexual abuse. Physical abuse was associated with a 38% increase in LSCL-33 scores (P < 0.01), sexual abuse with a 49% increase (P < 0.02), and combined abuse with a 113% increase (P < 0.0001). Physical or sexual abuse alone was associated with elevated LSCL-33 scores only if the abuse occurred before age 18.

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