A study of stress factors and neuroplasticity during infancy/early childhood

This 2015 French rodent study found:

“The coordinated actions of BDNF and glucocorticoids promote neuronal plasticity and that disruption in either pathway could set the stage for the development of stress-induced psychiatric diseases.

Genetic strategies that disrupted GR [glucocorticoid receptor] phosphorylation or TrkB [the BDNF receptor] signaling in vivo impaired the neuroplasticity to chronic stress and the effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine.

We demonstrate that fluoxetine prevented the neuroplasticity of chronic stress by priming GR phosphorylation at BDNF-sensitive sites.”


It wasn’t too difficult to see how many of the stressors had human equivalents during infancy/early childhood:

“To determine the plasticity of GR phosphorylation upon changes in the endogenous levels of BDNF and glucocorticoids, mice were exposed to a chronic unpredictable stress that included one daily random stressor for 10 consecutive days from P21 [immediately after weaning] to 1 mo of age.

Chronic unpredictable stress includes one of the following daily random stressors (wet bedding, no bedding, food deprivation, crowded cage, 2 h or 6 h restraining, forced swim, tail suspension).”

But who would give fluoxetine – Prozac – to a human infant or young child to prevent “the neuroplasticity of chronic stress” from having adverse effects?

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/51/15737.full “Neurotrophic-priming of glucocorticoid receptor signaling is essential for neuronal plasticity to stress and antidepressant treatment”

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