In contrast, those with lower health status had looser, unlocked connectivity structures in the same areas.
Dr. Park believes he has found clear evidence that stress early in life can have lasting effects on brain structures.
“There are many studies showing that childhood stress affects mental health in adults,” she said.
“Much of that research has focused on comparing people with severe mental illness to those who are mentally healthy, but it is not possible to show differences in people who are considered mentally ‘healthy’.” The fact that it can be done is a big step forward. ”
Researchers believe that structure is built in resilient people because over time, the brain adapts to stressful situations, much like people who lift weights and build muscle.
People without ELS had a different structure, with fewer connections but perhaps “more efficiency,” Dr. Park said.
She said she wanted to know why some people didn’t develop these structures and whether there were ways to develop the findings into practical means of improving people’s resilience.
“We want to develop a trajectory that can model the factors that influence health and resilience,” she said.
“Importantly, childhood stress can affect the brain in adulthood, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Stress can change and build resilience.”
The researchers used the TWIN-E study and brain scans and questionnaires from 242 healthy Australians, most of whom had participated for at least 10 years.
This research was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Stanford University in the United States, and the results have been published in a journal. translational psychiatry.