Even if these two brains (on the picture below) belong to children of the same age, maybe you’ll be able to notice that the one on the left is actually much bigger and has fewer blurred structures in comparison with the one on the right.
So, this extreme difference isn’t caused by some kind of physical injury or a disease. It is the result of serious trauma and neglect.
Professor Bruce D Perry from the Psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital published this image in his paper. He explains: “The CT scan on the left is an image from a healthy 3-year-old with an average head size. The image on the right is from a 3-year-old child suffering from severe sensory-deprivation neglect. This child’s brain is significantly smaller than average and has enlarged ventricles and cortical atrophy.”
It is already known that early childhood years can affect the rest of a person’s life and this can be expressed through certain genes or the risk of developing diseases like asthma in the future. Still, it is less known that early childhood years can actually affect also the physical structure and the size of your own brain.
In Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu has outlawed all contraception and abortions, that resulted with thousands of abandoned children in the place commonly known as “orphanges” where they are left almost on their own with almost no care and very little food.
There was a study conducted back in 2015 that looked at the brains of 26 children that are living in these horrendous conditions. It was shown that these children had significantly less developed white matter in at least 4 parts of their brains that are associated with maintaining attention, sensory processing, execute function and partially affected emotions.