Emotional neglect in childhood and cerebral infarction in older age

Neurology.org: September 19, 2012

The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that a higher level of childhood adversity is associated with increased risk of cerebral infarction in old age.

Methods: Older participants in a longitudinal clinical–pathologic study rated adverse childhood experiences (e.g., emotional neglect, parental intimidation and violence) on a previously established 16-item scale. During a mean of 3.5 years of follow-up, there were 257 deaths, with 206 brain autopsies (80.2%). Number of chronic cerebral infarcts (gross plus microscopic; expressed as 0, 1, or >1) was determined in a uniform neuropathologic examination, which had been completed in 192 individuals at the time of these analyses.

Results: Childhood adversity scores ranged from 0 to 31 (mean = 8.3, SD = 6.4). In an ordinal logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, and education, higher adversity was associated with higher likelihood of chronic cerebral infarction. Read more