Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Effects of Chronic Stress on Neuroanatomy and Cognitive Function

Version 1 : Received: 8 July 2022 / Approved: 12 July 2022 / Online: 12 July 2022 (04:25:55 CEST)

How to cite: Viradia, N.; Godinez Paredes, J.; Hassan, S. The Effects of Chronic Stress on Neuroanatomy and Cognitive Function. Preprints 2022, 2022070171 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0171.v1). Viradia, N.; Godinez Paredes, J.; Hassan, S. The Effects of Chronic Stress on Neuroanatomy and Cognitive Function. Preprints 2022, 2022070171 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0171.v1).

Abstract

Stress plays a central role in functioning for all life forms. As humans, we experience stress in a multitude of ways through various types of stimuli. Due to the constancy of stressors in our lives, the nervous system has learned to allosterically adapt to the stimuli, but when the body cannot adapt, chronic stress can have morphological and degenerative impacts on neuroanatomy and cognitive function that may or may not be reversible. This literature review aimed to identify the specific neuroanatomical structures impacted most by the long-term effects of chronic stress and the subsequent relationship the morphological changes had on cognitive function in rodent models. We examined articles published from PubMed, Google Scholar, and Science Direct, while focusing the search on anatomical and neurodegenerative effects associated with chronic stress stimuli. The degenerative effects of various types simulated physiological chronic stress showed the most impact on neurogenesis and neuronal development, brain plasticity, and spatial learning and memory with association to the hippocampus. The hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) all had reversible and non-reversible morphological alterations, which also had a direct impact on the brain’s cognitive abilities. While studies regarding chronic stress are still being conducted, future research may be able to further highlight why stressful stimuli can particularly impact these structures and the tangential impacts that it may have on related or adjacent structures.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s; aging; amygdala; brain plasticity; CA1; CA3; chronic stress; cognition; GABA; HIF-1; hippocampus; hypoxia; neurogenesis; Parkinson’s; prefrontal cortex; PSA-NCAM; ROS; spatial learning

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Behavioral Neuroscience

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