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Adversity in childhood linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood

Egerton, A; Valmaggia, LR; Howes, OD; Day, F; Chaddock, CA; Allen, P; Winton-Brown, TT; ... McGuire, P; + view all (2016) Adversity in childhood linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood. Schizophrenia Research , 176 (2-3) pp. 171-176. 10.1016/j.schres.2016.06.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Childhood adversity increases the risk of psychosis in adulthood. Theoretical and animal models suggest that this effect may be mediated by increased striatal dopamine neurotransmission. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between adversity in childhood and striatal dopamine function in early adulthood. Secondary objectives were to compare exposure to childhood adversity and striatal dopamine function in young people at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis and healthy volunteers. Sixty-seven young adults, comprising 47 individuals at UHR for psychosis and 20 healthy volunteers were recruited from the same geographic area and were matched for age, gender and substance use. Presynaptic dopamine function in the associative striatum was assessed using 18F-DOPA positron emission tomography. Childhood adversity was assessed using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse questionnaire. Within the sample as a whole, both severe physical or sexual abuse (T63 = 2.92; P = 0.005), and unstable family arrangements (T57 = 2.80; P = 0.007) in childhood were associated with elevated dopamine function in the associative striatum in adulthood. Comparison of the UHR and volunteer subgroups revealed similar incidence of childhood adverse experiences, and there was no significant group difference in dopamine function. This study provides evidence that childhood adversity is linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood.

Type: Article
Title: Adversity in childhood linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.06.005
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2016.06.005
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1533722
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