Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), the deliberate self-harm of one’s self without suicidal intent commonly arises in adolescence. While not all adolescents who engage in NSSI share this history, there is evidence that self-harm often arises in the context of a history of early trauma. Further, there is evidence that early life stress (ELS) may alter key neurobiological mechanisms, particularly those associated with stress system functioning. What is needed is more clarity about if the neurobiological alterations associated with NSSI differ based on life stress history. The amygdala and hippocampal networks of female adolescents with NSSI and a history of ELS were examined using resting state fMRI. Participants in this study were female adolescents ages 13 to 21 years old with a history of NSSI and/or ELS and healthy controls. The results show that adolescents with NSSI, compared to healthy controls, had abnormal amygdala-frontal connectivity and greater amygdala resting state functional connectivity in with? the supplementary motor area and dorsal anterior cingulate. Amygdala connectivity did not differ between adolescents with NSSI and ELS and NSSI without ELS. Contrary to predictions there were no group differences in the hippocampus. These abnormalities in amygdala connectivity in adolescents with NSSI may represent an important circuit underlying NSSI and target areas for intervention.
Larson, Abigail K.
Resting State Functional Connectivity in Adolescents with Early Life Stress and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury.
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