Increased stress and smaller anterior hippocampal volume

ArticleinNeuroreport 17(17):1825-8 · December 2006with11 Reads
DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000246322.58814.b8 · Source: PubMed
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.

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  • ... Posterior and anterior hippocampal regions have a unique pattern of connectivity and have been linked to different functions ( Poppenk et al. 2013;Nadel et al. 2013) that may be of relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia ( Szeszko et al. 2002). In our prior work (e.g., Szeszko et al. 2003Szeszko et al. , 2006Wellington et al. 2013) we divided the hippocampus into anterior and posterior segments based on functional magnetic resonance imaging data demonstrating a dissociation in functions for the posterior and anterior parts of the hippocampus with regard to familiarity of stimuli ( Strange et al. 1999;Strange and Dolan 2001). Animal studies suggest that the ventral (corresponding to the anterior hippocampus in humans) or rostral hippocampus has strong connections with prefrontal regions ( Barbas and Blatt 1995;Carr and Sesack 1996) and may be involved in context coding ( Nadel et al. 2013;Rajah et al. 2010). ...
  • ... It is also of interest that, to our knowledge, no studies have directly related cognitive performance to psychosocial measures of stress in FEP. Previous published papers show a link between psychosocial stress and changes in the structure of important brain regions associated with cognitive function, such as the hippocampus (Szeszko et al. 2006; Gianaros et al. 2007). Moreover, several studies show an association between a history of childhood trauma and poorer scores on several cognitive tasks when assessed in adulthood (Perez & Widom, 1994). ...
  • ... In addition, there was a more severe reduction in his anterior and medial temporal lobes and the diencephalon (cf. Bluhm et al., 2009; Gianaros et al., 2007; Szeszko et al., 2006 ). Treating the patient psychopharmaceutically and with psychotherapy resulted in a reinstatement of most of his old memories and a reinstatement of his ability to encode new episodic events long term (Markowitsch et al., 2000). ...
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