The body keeps the score: The neurobiological profile of traumatized adolescents

Elsevier, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 145, 2023
Daniela Laricchiuta, Anna Panuccio, Eleonora Picerni, Daniele Biondo, Benedetto Genovesi, Laura Petrosini

Trauma-related disorders are debilitating psychiatric conditions that affect people who have directly or indirectly witnessed adversities. Experiencing multiple types of traumas appears to be common during childhood, and even more so during adolescence. Dramatic brain/body transformations occurring during adolescence may provide a highly responsive substrate to external stimuli and lead to trauma-related vulnerability conditions, such as internalizing (anxiety, depression, anhedonia, withdrawal) and externalizing (aggression, delinquency, conduct disorders) problems. Analyzing relations among neuronal, endocrine, immune, and biochemical signatures of trauma and internalizing and externalizing behaviors, including the role of personality traits in shaping these conducts, this review highlights that the marked effects of traumatic experience on the brain/body involve changes at nearly every level of analysis, from brain structure, function and connectivity to endocrine and immune systems, from gene expression (including in the gut) to the development of personality.