Experts say childhood abuse may alter brain function in adults. 

A history of child abuse could be linked with altered brain function, according to researchers who assessed data from 768 kids from Sydney. 

The team found people who experienced abuse during childhood (but not adolescence) experienced altered functioning in the brain for systems associated with perceptual processing and attention. 

The brain changes may be due to a heightened awareness of their environment, due to being exposed to high levels of threat at an early age, according to the authors. 

Additionally, while more women than men experienced childhood abuse in the study groups, the team found more pronounced brain changes in men who had experienced the abuse, possibly due to the different rates of brain development in the sexes. 

The full report is accessible here.