The Science of Neglect

Judy Cameron

Stress, ACEs, Addiction, Brain Architecture, Serve and Return

October 2014

Dr. Judy Cameron (Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh) explains how neglect and adversity interrupts the healthy development of different parts of the brain at different ages. Early childhood neglect affects the brain areas that support lifelong learning, behavior, and health. Her research shows that child neglect changes the brain architecture, alters gene responses to stress, increases hormone secretion, and modifies the way neglected children see the world as adults. She believes we can prevent the long-term health impacts of childhood neglect through early protective interventions that strengthen family relationships, provide caring environments, and get the community involved.

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