5 years ago

Brain-Body Pathways Linking Psychological Stress and Physical Health.

Gianaros PJ, Wager TD
Psychological stress is thought to arise from appraisal processes that ascribe threat-related meaning to experiences that tax or exceed our coping ability. Neuroimaging research indicates that these appraisal processes originate in brain systems that also control physiological stress reactions in the body. Separate lines of research in health psychology and behavioral medicine indicate that these physiological stress reactions confer risk for physical disease. Accordingly, integrative research that cuts across historically separated disciplines may help to define the brain-body pathways linking psychological stress to physical health. We describe recent studies aimed at this goal, focusing on studies of the brain bases of stressor-evoked cardiovascular system reactions and heart disease risk. We also outline an interpretive framework for these studies, as well as needs for next-generation models and metrics to better understand how the brain encodes and embodies stress in relation to health.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26279608

DOI: PubMed:26279608

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