Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Front Neuroendocrinol. 2014 Jan;35(1):89-110. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2013.10.004. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Puberty and adolescence as a time of vulnerability to stressors that alter neurobehavioral processes.

Author information

1
Neuroscience and Behavior Program, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA; Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA. Electronic address: mkholder@cns.umass.edu.
2
Neuroscience and Behavior Program, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA; Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA. Electronic address: blaustein@cns.umass.edu.

Abstract

Puberty and adolescence are major life transitions during which an individual's physiology and behavior changes from that of a juvenile to that of an adult. Here we review studies documenting the effects of stressors during pubertal and adolescent development on the adult brain and behavior. The experience of complex or compound stressors during puberty/adolescence generally increases stress reactivity, increases anxiety and depression, and decreases cognitive performance in adulthood. These behavioral changes correlate with decreased hippocampal volumes and alterations in neural plasticity. Moreover, stressful experiences during puberty disrupt behavioral responses to gonadal hormones both in sexual performance and on cognition and emotionality. These behavioral changes correlate with altered estrogen receptor densities in some estrogen-concentrating brain areas, suggesting a remodeling of the brain's response to hormones. A hypothesis is presented that activation of the immune system results in chronic neuroinflammation that may mediate the alterations of hormone-modulated behaviors in adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Cognitive function; Depression; Estradiol; Immune challenge; Progesterone; Sexual behavior; Stress; Stress reactivity

PMID:
24184692
PMCID:
PMC3946873
DOI:
10.1016/j.yfrne.2013.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center