Blogs: Neurodevelopment

Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Hippocampal Volumes in Depressed Youths

Depressed Youth

Major depression disorder is a mental health condition in which unrelenting feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, anger, or frustration persist for prolonged periods of time and interfere with a person’s daily life. Although major depression arises most commonly in early adulthood, anyone can develop major depression disorder, including children and teenagers. While depression has been…

Early-Life Stress and Pituitary Gland Development

Early Life Stress

Whenever a stress response is triggered, the hypothalamus at the base of the brain is activated and stimulates the pituitary gland, which in turn helps regulate the activity of other hormone-secreting glands. As the mediator of stress management, the pituitary gland may be highly affected by stress dysregulation. A recent study carried out at the University…

Early-Life Stress and Amygdala Hypertrophy

Early Life Stress

Different forms of early-life stress may shape the development of brain areas involved with emotion processing and may increase vulnerability to adult mental or behavioral disorders. Examples of types of traumatic events include natural disasters, experiences in institutional care, assaults, witnessing violence and physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Considering that exposure to stress in humans…

Hippocampal Volume Measurement and Memory Loss

Adorable blonde toddler girl playing memory game

Memory is a highly constructive cognitive process that takes place in our everyday lives and consists of encoding, storing and retrieving information. Our memory is not located in one particular place in the brain, but is instead a brain-wide process during which several different areas of the brain act in conjunction with one another. One of the areas that plays…

Occipital Bending: the Physical Cause behind a Mental Health Disorder?

Occipital Bending in Depression

Brain asymmetry refers to the asymmetrical function and structure of the brain. Each hemisphere is specialized in certain tasks and specific areas process particular types of cognitive information. Structurally, the two halves of the human brain are slightly different, in fact some structures may be larger or smaller on one half of the brain than…

Neural Networks in Utero: a Milestone in Fetal Development Timeline

Fetus inside the womb

The brain’s neural connectivity pattern is formed by structural links such as synapses or fiber pathways. Understanding brain connectivity is crucial to elucidating how neurons and neural networks process information and the establishment of these functional neural networks is one of the major stages of development of the human fetal brain. However, the developmental timetable…

Can Levels of Essential Fatty Acids Predict Risk for Psychosis?

Schizophrenic woman

Recent studies demonstrate a critical role of fatty acids in the structure and function of the developing nervous system. Essential fatty acids (EFAs), omega-3s in particular, are an absolute requirement for a healthy brain, as they are involved in the composition of neural membranes and in the production of neurotransmitters. Their role in psychiatric and cognitive…

Fetal Corpus Callosum Measurement as an Imaging Biomarker for Abnormal Neurodevelopment

newborn

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to abnormal fetal growth, and often results from poor maternal nutrition or lack of adequate oxygen to the fetus. IUGR is found in up to 10% of all pregnancies, in 20% of stillborn births and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Volume and neural network changes in cerebral white and…