PSYC 342 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Self Esteem (Song), Allostatic Load, Circadian Rhythm

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PSYC 342 Lecture 11 - Feb. 16
Functional Tests of the HPA Axis:
CRH
ACTH
Dexamethasone
Combined DEX/CRH
Baseline (circadian rhythm) testing
Stress test
Dysregulation of the HPA Axis:
Major Depression: enhanced central drive of CRH
Example I: Childhood abuse - increased sensitivity of primary CRH receptor
PTSD: increased sensitivity to glucocorticoid feedback
The Glucocorticoid Cascade Hypothesis
Why Stress is Bad For Your Brain:
Supposed to be mediated via HPA axis activity
Neurotoxic effects of glucocorticoids in the brain
Allostatic load concept (glucocorticoid cascade)
Effects of CRF Application to Brain in Animals:
Decreases
Eating
Sleeping
Reproductive activity
Increases
Restless activity in familiar environments
Withdrawal in unfamiliar environments
Why Stress is Bad for your Brain: The Glucocorticoid Cascade Hypothesis
An ever increasing secretion of glucocorticoids as a consequence of chronic stress
Supposed to be mediated via HPA axis activity
Neurotoxic effects of glucocorticoids in the brain
Allostatic load concept (glucocorticoid cascade)
The Cascade Hypothesis: Hippocampal Damage?
Proposed mechanisms of HC damage: inhibition of glucose transport, modulation of LTP, potentia-
tion of excitatory amino acids
However, HC loss even in Cushing’s is reversible
Volume change more likely due to change in water and electrolyte content
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