Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Association of childhood trauma with cognitive function in healthy adults: a pilot study


Majer, M; Nater, U M; Lin, J-M S; Capuron, L; Reeves, W C (2010). Association of childhood trauma with cognitive function in healthy adults: a pilot study. BMC Neurology, 10:61.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Animal and human studies suggest that stress experienced early in life has detrimental consequences on brain development, including brain regions involved in cognitive function. Cognitive changes are cardinal features of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Early-life trauma is a major risk factor for these disorders. Only few studies have measured the long-term consequences of childhood trauma on cognitive function in healthy adults. METHODS: In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and cognitive function in 47 healthy adults, who were identified as part of a larger study from the general population in Wichita, KS. We used the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and the Wide-Range-Achievement-Test (WRAT-3) to examine cognitive function and individual achievement. Type and severity of childhood trauma was assessed by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression on CANTAB measures with primary predictors (CTQ scales) and potential confounders (age, sex, education, income). RESULTS: Specific CTQ scales were significantly associated with measures of cognitive function. Emotional abuse was associated with impaired spatial working memory performance. Physical neglect correlated with impaired spatial working memory and pattern recognition memory. Sexual abuse and physical neglect were negatively associated with WRAT-3 scores. However, the association did not reach the significance level of p < 0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that physical neglect and emotional abuse might be associated with memory deficits in adulthood, which in turn might pose a risk factor for the development of psychopathology.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Animal and human studies suggest that stress experienced early in life has detrimental consequences on brain development, including brain regions involved in cognitive function. Cognitive changes are cardinal features of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Early-life trauma is a major risk factor for these disorders. Only few studies have measured the long-term consequences of childhood trauma on cognitive function in healthy adults. METHODS: In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and cognitive function in 47 healthy adults, who were identified as part of a larger study from the general population in Wichita, KS. We used the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and the Wide-Range-Achievement-Test (WRAT-3) to examine cognitive function and individual achievement. Type and severity of childhood trauma was assessed by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression on CANTAB measures with primary predictors (CTQ scales) and potential confounders (age, sex, education, income). RESULTS: Specific CTQ scales were significantly associated with measures of cognitive function. Emotional abuse was associated with impaired spatial working memory performance. Physical neglect correlated with impaired spatial working memory and pattern recognition memory. Sexual abuse and physical neglect were negatively associated with WRAT-3 scores. However, the association did not reach the significance level of p < 0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that physical neglect and emotional abuse might be associated with memory deficits in adulthood, which in turn might pose a risk factor for the development of psychopathology.

Statistics

Citations

59 citations in Web of Science®
73 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

53 downloads since deposited on 02 Nov 2010
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:02 Nov 2010 16:09
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 15:18
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2377
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2377-10-61
PubMed ID:20630071

Download

Download PDF  'Association of childhood trauma with cognitive function in healthy adults: a pilot study'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)