WASHINGTON Children suffering adversity in their early life are prone to gastrointestinal complaints which might affect their brain and behaviour later in life, claims a study.
The study was published in the Journal ‘Development and Psychopathology’.
“One common reason children show up at doctors’ offices is intestinal complaints. Our findings indicate that gastrointestinal symptoms in young children could be a red flag to primary care physicians for future emotional health problems,” said Nim Tottenham, senior author of the study.
Earlier researches have shown that a past association with trauma ended up half of the adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The prevalence was twice as that of patients without IBS.
“The role of trauma in increasing vulnerability to both gastrointestinal and mental health symptoms is well established in adults but rarely studied in childhood,” said study lead author Bridget Callaghan.
“Our study is among the first to link disruption of a child’s gastrointestinal microbiome triggered by early-life adversity with brain activity in regions associated with emotional health.”
The research primarily focused on adulating children who suffered extreme psychological pain or deprivation. The study undertook 115 children who were adopted from orphanages or foster care on or before they were two years old and 229 children raised by a biological caregiver.
The data collected was behavioral information, stool sample and brain images from all the children.
The children showed distinct gut microbiomes who had early care giving disruptions from those raised by their biological parents.
“It is too early to say anything conclusive, but our study indicates that adversity-associated changes in the gut microbiome are related to brain function, including differences in the regions of the brain associated with emotional processing,” says Tottenham.