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Poverty can cause childhood depression and poor brain connections, research reveals

Children who grew up in poverty are more likely to be suffered from the childhood depression due to altered brain connectivity patterns. The new research study has pointed out that poor child’s brain is connected differently than those who come from well settled family. For the first time, poverty has been linked to the mental conditions.

These poor kids have low educational and cognitive development in the brain. The situation makes them more vulnerable to various psychiatric illnesses. The data revealed that anti-social behavior and depression can be easily found in this demographic.

Clinical depression is more likely to be found in the poor students attending pre-schools. They might be suffering from depression already before attending first grade. At the age of 9 or 10, poor students have high chances of chronic depression.

The kids from higher income families have different linkage in the hippocampus and amygdala. These two brain parts are associated with stress regulation, memory and learning along with emotions.

Deanna M. Barch was the lead author of this study which was conducted at the Washington University. The research reveals that due to poor linking of brain structures, these children are less likely to fight depression and manage stress. Risk of clinical depression increases under such circumstances.

Joan L Luby, another researcher who contributed to the study said that the bad development in poor children is a result of their harsh lives in the poverty. If the findings of study are right, it should worry lot of developing countries.

The scientists analyzed the brains of 105 children between the age group of 7 to 12. The connections between different part of the brains were scanned under the MRIs. The American Journal of Psychiatry recently published this brain data which says that children who grew in poverty are more vulnerable to the childhood depression.


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