Early adversity, neural development, and inflammation.

TitleEarly adversity, neural development, and inflammation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsChiang JJ, Taylor SE, Bower JE
JournalDev Psychobiol
Date Published2015 Dec

Early adversity is a risk factor for poor mental and physical health. Although altered neural development is believed to be one pathway linking early adversity to psychopathology, it has rarely been considered a pathway linking early adversity to poor physical health. However, this is a viable pathway because the central nervous system is known to interact with the immune system via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system (ANS). In support of this pathway, early adversity has been linked to changes in neural development (particularly of the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex), HPA axis and ANS dysregulation, and higher levels of inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, can be detrimental to physical health when prolonged. In this review, we present these studies and consider how altered neural development may be a pathway by which early adversity increases inflammation and thus risk for adverse physical health outcomes.

Alternate JournalDev Psychobiol
PubMed ID26369600
Grant ListAG030309 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States