Effects of stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behaviour and cognition

Sonia J. Lupien, Bruce S. McEwen, Megan R Gunnar, Christine Heim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2977 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic exposure to stress hormones, whether it occurs during the prenatal period, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood or aging, has an impact on brain structures involved in cognition and mental health. However, the specific effects on the brain, behaviour and cognition emerge as a function of the timing and the duration of the exposure, and some also depend on the interaction between gene effects and previous exposure to environmental adversity. Advances in animal and human studies have made it possible to synthesize these findings, and in this Review a model is developed to explain why different disorders emerge in individuals exposed to stress at different times in their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

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