Neglected children end up with smaller brains: Study suggests
A new study conducted by the researchers suggests that people whose childhood had been spent in neglect and derivation have smaller brains than normal people. The research was being done at King’s College London.
They studied the children at the Romanian orphanages. After the study ended the conclusions suggested that these children on average have brain size 8.6% smaller than a child of the same age who is getting proper parental care.
These Romanian orphanages do not treat and care properly for the children and they are often chained in their cots and the conditions of the rooms remain filthy. These orphanages started coming up in Romania after the fall of their communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.
All the children had spent two weeks to four years in these orphanages. The researchers told that the brain size being small can have a much more profounding effect on the body in adulthood.
Previously researchers have shown that children who are later adopted by loving families still have higher chances of suffering from mental problems in later stages of their life. The most common side effects or conditions include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and lack of fear from strangers.
The details of the research have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the study conducted there were 67 children from these Romanian orphanages who were later adopted and 21 others who did not face such harsh conditions in their orphanages. All the Romanian adoptees had a brain size which was around 8.6% smaller than the non-Romanian adoptees.
The longer they had spent in the orphanages the more was the reduction in their brain size. There were also structural differences between the two groups of children. All these regions in the brain have functions like motivation, memory, and concentration. The Romanian adoptees had these portions of the brain underdeveloped.