The multifaceted aspects of stress

The effects of stress depend on the nature and duration of the exposure, with the triggering of molecular mechanisms that allow individuals to react to the stressful context. In particular, while acute stress induces the activation of circuits to ensure normal homeostasis and mediates adaptive responses, chronic stress exposure has detrimental and longlasting effects on brain functions. Indeed, chronic stressful life events act as precipitating factors for many psychiatric conditions, including major depressive disorders. In this context, it is worthy of mention that there are differences in individual susceptibility, with some people displaying vulnerability to stressful events and others being resilient to the same adversities. Moreover, exposure to chronic adverse situations may leave permanent ‘scars’ in the individual, which confer enhanced vulnerability for relapse since it is possible that not all the systems impaired by chronic stress are restored during the remission.
On these bases, it is fundamental to better understand the behavioral outcomes of stressful events as well as the molecular changes that may sustain them for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and approaches to treat stressrelated disorders and to promote resilience.


Table of Content: Vol. 4 (No. 2) 2022 May/August