This retrospective study examined the association between abuse history
and neurological abnormalities in 115 consecutive patients admitted to a
child and adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit. Increased
electrophysiological abnormalities were found in abused patients compared
with non-abused patients (54.4% vs. 26.9%, P = 0.021), predominantly in the
left side of the frontal, temporal, or anterior region (P = 0.036). This
may support the hypothesis that early abuse alters brain development,
particularly limbic structures. However, a large-scale prospective
longitudinal assessment study is needed to interpret this association.
Possible clinical consequences of relatively preserved right frontal
function are discussed.