The two sides of the coin of psychosocial stress: evaluation by positron emission tomography

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    Abstract

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is considered to be one of the most burdensome diseases to society, due to the high healthcare costs, loss of productivity, high rates of disability and suicide. It affects approximately 350 million people worldwide, with a lifetime prevalence of 15-20%. Despite considerable efforts, the complete mechanisms underlying depression remains unknown. A recent hypothesis implicates involvement of neuroinflammation in MDD. One of the main risk factors for the development of depression is stress. Therefore, further investigation of the biological pathways related to stress and neuroinflammation might help to understand this disease.
    In the present study we observed that activation of the stress system in the well-validated social defeat animal model could induce (neuro)inflammation and depressive symptoms. We also demonstrated in this animal model that a stressful event early in life had a significant impact on the individual behavioural and inflammatory response on a recurrence of the stressful situation later in life. Moreover, we found that exposure to winning aggressive confrontations in the social defeat animal model alters receptors in the brain linked with the pleasure/reward system, suggesting a possible habit-forming effect that increases violence and aggression.
    In our studies, positron emission tomography (PET), a non-invasive functional imaging technique, was applied to investigate the possible pathways underlying MDD and aggression. Since the same methodology can be applied in humans, PET has the potential to provide useful information regarding alterations in the brain of depressed and aggressive patients and thus, contribute to future personalized diagnosis and therapy for patients.
    Keywords: PET, major depressive disorder, aggression, stress, neuroinflammation.
    Translated title of the contributionTwee zijden van de medaille van psychosociale stress: evaluatie door positron emissie tomografie
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Dierckx, Rudi, Supervisor
    • de Vries, Erik, Co-supervisor
    • Doorduin, Janine, Co-supervisor
    • Moriguchi Jeckel, Cristina, Co-supervisor, External person
    • Schoevers, Robert, Assessment committee
    • Eggen, Bart, Assessment committee
    • Bauer, M.E., Assessment committee, External person
    Award date11-Jul-2018
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-0791-3
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0790-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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