A study published in the journal "Lancet Psychiatry" found that antisocial people could have smaller areas of the brain. It said criminals' brains had a different structure to the brains of people who followed the law. Researchers looked at records of 672 people between the ages of seven and 26. At the age of 45, the researchers scanned the people's brains. Eighty of them had a history of antisocial behaviour from their early teens. The areas of their brain that were linked to emotions, motivation and behaviour control were smaller in the long-term criminals.
A co-author of the research said it could help doctors understand long-term antisocial behaviour. She said antisocial people may behave badly because of their brain structure. She said: "They are operating under some disability at the level of the brain." She added that we needed to care for these people in a kinder way. The lead author said: "Differences in brain structure might make it difficult for people to develop social skills. This may prevent them from engaging in antisocial behaviour. These people could benefit from more support throughout their lives."