Institution: Stanford University
Traumatic and stressful events in life can have a dramatic and long lasting effect on a person’s mental health and well-being. This is particularly the case when the event(s) occur early in life, not only shaping a person’s emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric outcomes, but also seeding a growing network of insults to the structure of the developing brain. The changes that may occur in the brain, however, are not immediate and may impact individuals differently depending on, among other things, the number of stressors, the types of trauma, the duration of the event(s), and the age and sex of the individual. Monitoring these effects, and observing children early and often, to map subtle changes that are occurring in the brain is essential to identifying the neurocircuitry affected, and the only pathway to patient specific care and treatment.