Chronic stress, structural exposures and neurobiological mechanisms: A stimulation, discrepancy and deprivation model of psychosis

Teresa Vargas, Rachel E. Conley, Vijay A. Mittal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic stress exposure has been established as a key vulnerability factor for developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. A structural, or systems level perspective, has often been lacking in conceptualizations of chronic stress for psychotic disorders. The current review thus identified three subtypes of structural exposures. Stimulation exposures included urban environments, population density and crime exposure, with intermediary mechanisms of lack of safety and high attentional demands. Underlying neural mechanisms included threat neural circuits. Discrepancy exposures included environmental ethnic density, income inequality, and social fragmentation, with intermediary mechanisms of lack of belonging and social exclusion, and neural mechanisms including the oxytocin system. Deprivation exposures included environments lacking socioeconomic, educational, or material resources, with intermediary mechanisms of lack of needed environmental enrichment, and underlying neural mechanisms of over-pruning and protracted PFC development. Delineating stressor etiology at the systems level is a necessary step in reducing barriers to effective interventions and health policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Neurobiology
EditorsAngela Clow, Nina Smyth
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Pages41-69
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9780128211168
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
Volume152
ISSN (Print)0074-7742
ISSN (Electronic)2162-5514

Keywords

  • Chronic stress
  • Clinical high risk
  • Crime
  • Deprivation
  • Developmental stress
  • Ethnic density
  • HPA axis
  • Income inequality
  • Psychosis
  • Rural
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cohesion
  • Social fragmentation
  • Stress
  • Structural stress
  • System level stress
  • Urban
  • Vulnerability factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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