Stress and the Adolescent Brain: Plasticity of Reproductive Behaviors in Female
Early life events influence life-long patterns of emotionality and stress responsiveness and alter the rate of brain and body aging. Much research attention has focused on the programming effects of the hypothalamus pituitary axis (HPA) in early life and on understanding HPA function in response to stressors in adulthood. In comparison, there has been relatively little research on adolescence, a time of significant brain development particularly in the frontal lobe and a time which is of great importance for mental and physical health. The hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex undergo stress-induced structural remodeling, which alters behavioral and physiological responses. During adolescence, HPA function is characterized by a prolonged activation in response to stressors compared to adulthood, which may render ongoing development of the brain vulnerable. Stress reactivity is markedly influenced by both the pubertal maturation and the experience of the individual. The frequency of the pulses is increased in chronic stress, since the neuroendocrine system is such a good candidate for mediators of many diseases linked to chronic stress. The activity of HPA axis in life time of female, sex maturity, pregnancy or lactation is a plasticity of the diurnal rhythm of pulse amplitude; chronic stress can change this program for formation disorder in behavioral and physiological responses.
|Issue||Vol 3, No 1 (March 2009)|
|Stress Adolescence Brain Plasticity Female reproductive system|
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