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Early life adversity and later depression for teens

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Tough experiences before age six, like family instability or abuse, are tied to changes in brain structure and to a higher risk of anxiety or depression, according to a study of mother-son pairs in England. “Early adversity increases later symptoms of depression or anxiety, which, in turn, can associate with variation in cortical structure,” said senior author Edward D. Barker of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London. “Most children will experience a degree of adversity, but this is not necessarily harmful,” Barker told Reuters Health by email.