Animal studies indicate that stress negatively impacts hippocampal structure; little is known, however, regarding the relationship between stress and hippocampal morphology in healthy humans. Twenty-one healthy adults underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging examinations and completed the Derogatis Stress Profile. Greater psychological stress at the time of the scan correlated significantly and more strongly with anterior than posterior hippocampal volume. These findings suggest that psychological stress may be associated with structural alterations in the anterior hippocampal formation and that this relationship may differ along the rostrocaudal axis of the hippocampus. Our results may also have implications for neuropsychiatric disorders that have implicated stress and hippocampal abnormalities in their pathogenesis.
"If the hippocampus is lesioned, cache recovery is reduced to chance (Krushinskayna, 1966; Sherry and Vaccarino, 1989). While the mammalian hippocampus is critical for rapid learning of complex spatial and temporal relations , it is a sensitive brain region, responsive to a broad array of variables, including: stress (Gould et al., 1997; McEwen, 1999; Bremner, 2006; Szeszko et al., 2006), hypoxia (Cervosnavarro and Diemer, 1991; Ogawa et al., 2007; Maiti et al., 2008), isolation housing (Bianchi et al., 2006; Scaccianoce et al., 2006; Stranahan et al., 2006; Ibi et al., 2008), "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many naturalistic studies of the hippocampus wild animals are held in captivity. To test if captivity itself affects hippocampal integrity, adult black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) were caught in the fall, injected with bromodeoxyuridine to mark neurogenesis, and alternately released to the wild or held in captivity. The wild birds were recaptured after 4-6 weeks and perfused simultaneously with their captive counterparts. The hippocampus of captive birds was 23% smaller than wild birds, with no hemispheric differences in volume within groups. Between groups there was no statistically significant difference in the size of the telencephalon, or in the number and density of surviving new cells. Proximate causes of the reduced hippocampal volume could include stress, lack of exercise, diminished social interaction, or limited caching opportunity-a hippocampal-dependent activity. The results suggest the avian hippocampus-a structure essential for rapid, complex relational and spatial learning-is both plastic and sensitive, much as in mammals, including humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this article, the authors explore the breadth and depth of published research linking dietary vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to mood. Since the 1920s, there have been many studies on individual vitamins (especially B vitamins and Vitamins C, D, and E), minerals (calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium), and vitamin-like compounds (choline). Recent investigations with multi-ingredient formulas are especially promising. However, without a reasonable conceptual framework for understanding mechanisms by which micronutrients might influence mood, the published literature is too readily dismissed. Consequently, 4 explanatory models are presented, suggesting that mood symptoms may be expressions of inborn errors of metabolism, manifestations of deficient methylation reactions, alterations of gene expression by nutrient deficiency, and/or long-latency deficiency diseases. These models provide possible explanations for why micronutrient supplementation could ameliorate some mental symptoms.
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