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The Hyperactive HPA Axis: A Neurobiological Link Between Childhood Trauma and Psychopathology

Murphy, Felim (2020) The Hyperactive HPA Axis: A Neurobiological Link Between Childhood Trauma and Psychopathology. [--Choose an option--] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Many studies of childhood trauma and neglect have demonstrated the long-lasting and detrimental effects of the environment on the developmental trajectory. The development of the immature brain proves to be a fascinating process characterised by dynamic stages of plasticity as well as complex biological and environmental integration. Yet, while flexibility acts as the primary strength of the immature brain, it also acts as the Achilles’ heel. On one hand, the capability of early experiences to shape and consistently alter the function of the brain gives rise to vital developmental competencies such as language, however, on the other, this effect allows adverse exposures like trauma to cause maladaptive developmental trajectories. In this manner, maladaptive structures become consolidated biological characteristics that are tuned to stressful stimuli. Naturally, stress-orientated organisation likely creates a vulnerability to an array of psychological issues later in life. Moreover, in this paper, I hypothesise that the link between childhood trauma and various psychopathologies is a result of a hyperactive stress response system, more specifically, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). To show this, I investigate how early life trauma causes sensitisation of the HPA axis to mild stress in adulthood and its contribution to psychopathological vulnerability.

Type: --Choose an option--
Major: Social Sciences
Supervisor: May, C.J. and Brookhuis, K.A.
Datum van aanlevering: 09 Jul 2020 14:28
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 10:32
URI: http://ucg.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/66
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