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Expert reaction to study looking at antisocial behaviour and brain structure

Posted On: 18 Feb 2020   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

A study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, reports that life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour may be associated with differences in brain structure.
This roundup accompanies an SMC Briefing .
Prof Huw Williams, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Exeter, said:
“This is a valuable and insightful contribution to the debate on what drives crime. It is well known that crime tends to spike in the teenage years. And many grow out of delinquent styles of behaviour. There is, clearly, a strong theme that the brain systems for controlling mood and behaviour is somewhat different in those who go on to offend beyond the adolescent period. The authors note how genetic factors are important in determining the nature of these systems. But also, how early adversity may shape them. This is important for policy makers to take on board. This reinforces the need to help children and young people who have trouble ‘self-regulating' to get help at the earliest opportunity to reduce risk of...

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