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Neuroscientist sees kids suffer brain damage due to dire poverty

Neuroscientist sees kids suffer brain damage due to dire poverty

作者:朱涡擐  时间:2019-03-01 07:09:08  人气:

Ken Richardson By Jessica Hamzelou There’s child poverty in the US, so why study children in Bangladesh? I’m interested in the effects of early adversity. Researchers in the US have studied the effect of maltreatment and poverty, but no children in the US face the level of adversity seen in poor areas of Bangladesh. So we’ve built a lab in a Dhaka slum to investigate the effects on brain and behavioural development. What are these slums like for children? The level of poverty is mind-boggling. A family of five might live in a single room. None have kitchens or bathrooms. Everything is communal. People cook with wood or coal, so the air pollution is unbelievable. The roads are just dirt, so when the wind blows you have all this dirt in the air. There are open sewers. People use latrines in the street, which flood when the monsoon season comes – it lasts for months. The polite way to put it is that stool gets into everything, and can spread disease. The kids have chronic diarrhoea, which makes them malnourished. On top of that, around 20 to 30 per cent of the mothers we’ve assessed are depressed. There are high levels of domestic violence. We thought the work in Romania was messy – but this is even messier. Tell me about that work. Romania had a long and egregious history of institutionalising kids. In 1989, when the communists were overthrown, there were 170,000 children in institutions. We thought, just from sheer numbers,