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Protection of the young child's brain: personal observations and thoughts in postwar stress syndrome and in natural catastrophes

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This paper calls attention to the plight of children exposed to various traumas associated with wars and other natural disasters around the world. Little systematic attention has been paid to the mental health needs of child survivors of armed conflict. Our observations since 1968 and experiences around the world suggest that there are significant differences in the degree to which children have been prepared in anticipation of exposure to violence and in interventions applied after their exposure. It is the author's impression that prevention and intervention can be quite powerful when employed in these situations.
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Keywords: Apparent restoration; group therapy; mutualization; neurological handicaps; neuroprotection; postwar stress syndrome; relation to death; universality

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Professor Emeritus at the René Descartes University, Paris; Member of the Honour Committee of UNICEF, Paris; Member of the American Pediatric Society; Member of the Finnish Pediatric Society; FRCP of London

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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