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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Oct;1113:276-90. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Stress sensitization in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Research Institute of Asperger Disorder, Ahiya University Graduate School of Education. Rokurokuso-Machi 13-22, Ashiya, 659-8511 Hyogo, Japan.


It is well known that environmental factors, such as early life events, perinatal damage, and urbanicity, which interact with multiple genes, induces persistent sensitization to stress possibly through an imbalance in interactions between dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems. This stress sensitization may be critical in the development or relapse of schizophrenia. The neural correlates of a negative mood might be impaired, resulting in stress sensitization and difficulties in social adjustment (Dr. Habel). Urbanicity is associated with later schizophrenia. Metabolic stress induces stress sensitization via dysregulation of dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic systems in activated HVA and cortical response (Dr. Marcelis). The glutamatergic regulation activates HPA axis in stress response (Dr. Zelena). Ameloblast activity in human molar's enamel slowed by exposure to stress, and the segment of enamel rods is smaller, making a particular dark line. Stress sensitization may be induced at the age of 10.5 to 11.5 years resulting from severe emotional stress at the age of 10.5 to 11.5 years (Dr. Yui). It has been reported that volume reductions in the amygdala, hippocampus, superior temporal gyrus, and anterior parietal cortex common to both patient groups may represent the vulnerability to schizophrenia, while volume loss of the prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, cingulate, insula, and fusiform cortex preferentially observed in schizophrenia may be critical for overt manifestation of psychosis (Dr. Suzuki).

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