Early-life stress and cognitive outcome
- 1.4k Downloads
Early-life stress is associated with later neuropsychiatric illness. While the association between early-life stress and brain development is well recognized, relatively few studies have examined the association between exposure to early-life stress and cognitive outcome.
The objective of this paper is to examine the association between early-life stress and cognitive outcome in animal models and humans.
In this article, we review alterations in cognitive function associated with early-life stress in animals and then discuss the association of early-life stress and cognitive function in humans.
Findings suggest that early-life stress is associated with abnormal cognitive function in animals and humans. Furthermore, cognitive deficits associated with exposure to early-life stress in humans may persist into at least early adulthood, although animal models of enriched environments and studies of children adopted from institutionalized care into foster families suggest that certain social factors may at least partially reverse cognitive deficits following exposure to early-life stress.
Exposure to stress in early life may be associated with later deficits in cognitive function.
KeywordsEarly-life stress Cognition Cognitive function Memory Childhood abuse Neglect Posttraumatic-stress disorder Hippocampus Neuropsychology
Conflicts of interest
- Bazak N, Kozlovsky N, Kaplan Z, Matar M, Golan H, Zohar J, Richter-Levin G, Cohen H (2009) Pre-pubertal stress exposure affects adult behavioral response in association with changes in circulating corticosterone and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34:844–858PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bremner JD, Randall P, Vermetten E, Staib L, Bronen RA, Mazure C, Capelli S, McCarthy G, Innis RB, Charney DS (1997) Magnetic resonance imaging-based measurement of hippocampal volume in posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood physical and sexual abuse—a preliminary report. Biol Psychiatry 41:23–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bremner JD, Vythilingam M, Vermetten E, Southwick SM, McGlashan T, Staib LH, Soufer R, Charney DS (2003) Neural correlates of declarative memory for emotionally valenced words in women with posttraumatic stress disorder related to early childhood sexual abuse. Biol Psychiatry 53:879–889PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Green JG, McLaughlin KA, Berglund PA, Gruber MJ, Sampson NA, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC (2010) Childhood adversities and adult psychiatric disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication I: associations with first onset of DSM-IV disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry 67:113–123PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Higley JD, Suomi SJ, Linnoila M (1996b) A nonhuman primate model of type II excessive alcohol consumption? Part 1. Low cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentrations and diminished social competence correlate with excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 20:629–642PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lezak MD, Howieson DB, Loring DW, Hannay HJ, Fischer JS (2004) Neuropsychological assessment, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Pechtel P, Pizzagalli DA (2010) Effects of early life stress on cognitive and affective function: an integrated review of human literature. Psychopharmacology (Berl) (in press)Google Scholar
- Schneider ML (1992) Delayed object permanence development in prenatally stressed rhesus monkey infancts (Macaca mulatta). Occup Ther J Res 12:96–110Google Scholar
- Titus-Ernstoff L, Egan KM, Newcomb PA, Ding J, Trentham-Dietz A, Greenberg ER, Baron JA, Trichopoulos D, Willett WC (2002) Early life factors in relation to breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev 11:207–210Google Scholar
- US Department of Health and Human Services (2010) Child Maltreatment 2008. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can