An extensive literature has observed that impairments in neurodevelopment may be associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and that this would influence susceptibility to psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders, depression, suicide risk and substance abuse during adulthood. There is, therefore, a well-established correlation between adversity in early life and increased risk for the development of psychopathology, and this seems to prevail throughout life. Although childhood trauma increases the risk of developing mental disorders throughout life, not all individuals exposed to early traumatic events will experience symptoms or develop some type of mental disorder. These individuals are considered resilient. From a neurobiological point of view, resilience is the result of adaptive brain responses associated with favorable outcomes despite exposure to adversity. In this project, we will evaluate 150 pregnant women, users of the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) with a history of childhood trauma paired with 150 pregnant women without a history of childhood trauma. There will be a follow-up of the offspring for 2 years focused on the neurodevelopment of cognitive control, a marker for future development of impulsive behaviors, associated with the analysis of the functioning and control of the HPA axis through the analysis of salivary cortisol levels.
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