Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Schizophr Bull. 2008 Nov;34(6):1095-105. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbn101. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

Psychosocial stress and psychosis. A review of the neurobiological mechanisms and the evidence for gene-stress interaction.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, EURON, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands. ruud.vanwinkel@sp.unimaas.nl

Abstract

This article presents evidence suggesting that psychosocial stress may increase risk for psychosis, especially in the case of cumulative exposure. A heuristically useful framework to study the underlying mechanisms is the concept of "behavioral sensitization" that stipulates that exposure to psychosocial stress--such as life events, childhood trauma, or discriminatory experiences--may progressively increase the behavioral and biological response to subsequent exposures. The neurobiological substrate of sensitization may involve dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, contributing to a hypothesized final common pathway of dopamine sensitization in mesolimbic areas and increased stress-induced striatal dopamine release. It is argued that, in order to reconcile genetic and environmental influences on the development of psychosis, gene-environment interactions may be an important mechanism in explaining between-subject differences in risk following (cumulative) exposure to psychosocial stress. To date, most studies suggestive of gene-stress interaction have used proxy measures for genetic vulnerability such as a family history of psychosis; studies investigating interactions between molecular genetic measures and psychosocial stressors are still relatively scarce. Preliminary evidence suggests that polymorphisms within the catechol-O-methyltransferase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor genes may interact with psychosocial stress in the development of psychosis; however, extensive further investigations are required to confirm this.

PMID:
18718885
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2632486
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk