Consequence of an abused child

HEALTH IS WEALTH

A recent study has found a reason why victims of childhood abuse may themselves become abusive parents. Luckily, the study also points to a possible remedy.

Researchers studied monkey infants from birth into adulthood. They found out that baby monkeys that experienced abuse and rejection from their mother in the month after their birth produced less serotonin in their brains. This is a chemical that transmits impulses in the brain. Low levels of serotonin are linked with anxiety, depression and aggression in monkeys and people.

In a study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience , Dr. Dario Maestripieri, the lead author, stated, “The system is affected by early trauma, early experience and that these long-term changes in the brain might contribute to the occurrence of abusive parenting in adulthood.”

He added that if the same changes in the brain development also occur in humans, then there could be  potential intervention using drugs. By raising brain serotonin levels, this might lower the chances that an abused child will also become an abusive parent.