Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2017 Feb 1;12(2):261-272.
doi: 10.1093/scan/nsw120.

Ventral Striatum and Amygdala Activity as Convergence Sites for Early Adversity and Conduct Disorder

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Ventral Striatum and Amygdala Activity as Convergence Sites for Early Adversity and Conduct Disorder

Nathalie E Holz et al. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Childhood family adversity (CFA) increases the risk for conduct disorder (CD) and has been associated with alterations in regions of affective processing like ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala. However, no study so far has demonstrated neural converging effects of CFA and CD in the same sample. At age 25 years, functional MRI data during two affective tasks, i.e. a reward (N = 171) and a face-matching paradigm (N = 181) and anatomical scans (N = 181) were acquired in right-handed currently healthy participants of an epidemiological study followed since birth. CFA during childhood was determined using a standardized parent interview. Disruptive behaviors and CD diagnoses during childhood and adolescence were obtained by diagnostic interview (2-19 years), temperamental reward dependence was assessed by questionnaire (15 and 19 years).CFA predicted increased CD and amygdala volume. Both exposure to CFA and CD were associated with a decreased VS response during reward anticipation and blunted amygdala activity during face-matching. CD mediated the effect of CFA on brain activity. Temperamental reward dependence was negatively correlated with CFA and CD and positively with VS activity. These findings underline the detrimental effects of CFA on the offspring's affective processing and support the importance of early postnatal intervention programs aiming to reduce childhood adversity factors.

Keywords: amygdala; childhood adversity; conduct disorder; fMRI; ventral striatum.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Assessment waves through lifespan. S = self-report, P = parent report.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Effect of exposure to childhood family adversity (CFA) and conduct disorder (CD) diagnoses during childhood and adolescence on VS activity during reward processing (panels A and B) and amygdala activity emotion processing (panel C) (activity averaged over cluster). (A) left caudate reward processing: Left: activity decreased with increasing CFA (157 voxel, peaks −4 6 4; −14 18 6). Right: activity decreased with increasing CD during childhood and adolescence (40 voxel, peak −14 20 6). B. left putamen. Left: activity decreased with increasing CFA (31 voxel, peak −20 16 8). Right: activity decreased with increasing CD during childhood and adolescence (16 voxel, peak −32 4 −6). C. left amygdala. Left: activity decreased with increasing CFA (10 voxel, peak −22 −10 −12). Right: activity decreased with increasing CD during childhood and adolescence (14 voxel, peak −30 4 −18). Middle: significant clusters (thresholded at P = 0.005 uncorrected) showing the effect of CFA in red and CD during childhood and adolescence in green, with their overlap in yellow. Note that the scatter plot is a partial regression plot depicting the relationship of CFA and CD with brain activity when corrected for all confounders previously mentioned (such as sex, lifetime substance abuse etc.). Thus, negative CFA and CD levels may emerge.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.
Mediation analysis. Path model showing that CD (partially) mediated the association between CFA and caudate (A), putamen (B) and amygdala activity (C). ***P<.001; **P<.01; *P<.05

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Achenbach T.M. (1991). Young Adult Self Report. Burlington: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.
    1. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn.Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
    1. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edn.Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
    1. Anand A., Shekhar A. (2003). Brain imaging studies in mood and anxiety disorders: special emphasis on the amygdala. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 985, 370–88. - PubMed
    1. Ashburner J. (2007). A fast diffeomorphic image registration algorithm. Neuroimage, 38, 95–113. - PubMed
Feedback