In this study, Barch and colleagues tested the hypothesis that poverty experienced in early childhood, as measured by income-to-needs ratio, has an impact on functional brain connectivity at school age, which in turn influences child negative mood/depression. Preschoolers 3-5 years of age were originally ascertained from primary care and day care sites in the St. Louis area and then underwent annual behavioral assessments for up to 12 years. Healthy preschoolers and those with a history of depression symptoms underwent neuroimaging at school age. Using functional MRI, the authors examined whole brain resting-state functional connectivity with the left and right hippocampus and amygdala.
Lower income-to-needs ratio predicted greater negative mood/depression severity at school age, as did connectivity between the left hippocampus and the right superior frontal cortex and between the right amygdala and the right lingual gyrus. The authors concluded that poverty in early childhood may influence the development of hippocampal and amygdala connectivity in a manner leading to negative mood symptoms during later childhood.
Barch D, Pagliaccio D, Belden A, Harms MP, Gaffrey M, Sylvester C, Tillman R and Luby J: Effect of Hippocampal and Amygdala Connectivity on the Relationship Between Preschool Poverty and School-Age Depression. Amer. J. Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print, Jan. 15, 2016; appiajp201515081014].

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.