Abstract: “Given the high prevalence and burden of mental disorders, fostering the understanding of protective factors is an urgent issue for translational medicine in psychiatry. The concept of resilience describes individual and environmental protective factors against the backdrop of established adversities linked to mental illness. There is convergent evidence for a crucial role of direct as well as indirect adversity impacting the developing brain, with persisting effects until adulthood. Direct adversity may include childhood maltreatment and family adversity, while indirect social adversity can include factors such as urban living or ethnic minority status. Recently, research has begun to examine protective factors which may be able to buffer against or even reverse these influences. First evidence indicates that supportive social environments as well as trait-like individual protective characteristics might impact on similar neural substrates, thus strengthening the capacity to actively cope with stress exposure in order to counteract the detrimental effects evoked by social adversity. Here, we provide an overview of the current literature investigating the neural mechanisms of resilience with a putative social background, including studies on individual traits and genetic variation linked to resilience. We argue that the regulatory perigenual anterior cingulate cortex and limbic regions, including the amygdala and the ventral striatum, play a key role as crucial convergence sites of protective factors. Further, we discuss possible prevention and early intervention approaches targeting both the individual and the social environment to reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders and foster resilience.”

Holz NE,  Tost. H,  Meyer-Lindenberg A: Resilience and the brain: a key role for regulatory circuits linked to social stress and support. Mol.. Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print Oct. 18, 2019; doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0551-9.].



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