Decreased prefrontal and hippocampal volumes – effects of childhood poverty.

Childhood neighborhood poverty (NP) is significantly associated with decreased cognitive function as well as decreased prefrontal and hippocampal volumes, according to results of a study published in JAMA Network Open. November 20, 2020 Neighborhood Poverty Associated with Decreased Cognition, Brain Volume Rose Reeb in Psychiatric Advisor – a Community for Clinical Psychiatrists.

In the original paper the authors recommended that the concept of ADVESRITY be expanded to include the effects of NP, neighbourhood poverty. Taylor RL, Cooper SR, Jackson JJ, Barch DM. Assessment of neighborhood poverty, cognitive function, and prefrontal and hippocampal volumes in children. [published online November 3, 2020]. JAMA Netw Open. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23774

We completely agree. In our last post we also discuss the expansion of the concept of childhood adversity to include the effects of conditions during birth and delivery, childhood injuries and childhood nutrition and childhood illness.

In fact neighbourhood poverty will explain much of what we discussed. Difficulties in accessing proper health care and proper housing and proper nutrition will affect the environmental conditions under which children are conceived and born and the care their mothers receive when pregnant and during the births. Neighbourhood poverty will affect these babies as they grow and develop.

” It is estimated that nearly 100,000 children are born into poverty each year in Canada. During pregnancy, their mothers are likely to face multiple stressful life events, including lone-mother and teenage pregnancies, unemployment, more crowded or polluted physical environments, and far fewer resources to deal with these exposures. The early child health consequences of poverty and pregnancy are multiple, and often set a newborn child on a life-long course of disparities in health outcomes. Included are greatly increased risks for preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, and neonatal or infant death. Poverty has consistently been found to be a powerful determinant of delayed cognitive development and poor school performance. Behaviour problems among young children and adolescents are strongly associated with maternal poverty. Sound evidence in support of policies and programs to reduce these disparities among the poor, including the role of health practitioners, is difficult to find. This is partly because many interventions and programs targeting the poor are not properly evaluated or critically appraised.

Paediatr Child Health. 2007 Oct; 12(8): 673–677. doi: 10.1093/pch/12.8.673PMCID: PMC2528810PMID: 19030445 Poverty during pregnancy: Its effects on child health outcomes Charles P Larson, MD FRCPC1,2

The next blog will explain how neighbourhood poverty affected Paula and directly impacted her health and her risk for major depression as an adult.


To understand our ongoing ideas mind and loss of mind and the role of PCO2 and hypercapnia,   please look at our post on     *** a Potential two Step Marker for Bipolar Depressive Illness [to start] and our post on      *** How to Save a Manic Depressive Life.

1] We have a potential new 2 step biomarker for bipolar illness. Ventilatory issues and [hidden] hypercapnia can cause specific patterns of “odd behaviour”, mood and locomotor activity.    



Paula and I have identified a ventilatory injury/defect in that I can be most clearly identified in the  depressive stage of manic depressive insanity.  Kraepelin seems to have identified the same injury/defect over 100+ years ago. This is what is guiding us to new research to connect the dots. It is a lot of fun. It is something that scientists can follow up on. And we think this will make a huge difference in the new updated understanding of the reversible syndrome of bipolar illness and its treatment. this is how we have gotten to learn about adenosine and its ability to inhibit respiration rate in the face of hypercapnia……to be continued.]


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