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In vivo methods of brain investigation have recently made it possible to extend research into psychosocial risk factors for mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress, depressive and cognitive disorders, to the effect of behavioural risks on the brain. There are now theories explaining brain correlates of stress-related anxiety disorders, the effects of chronic stress on the brain and, at least partially, the organic brain changes found in cognitive and mood disorders. The concepts of chronic stress and allostatic load have been used to conceptualize such brain behaviour relationships. Research combining brain changes associated with chronic stress and allostatic load may also explain some of the commonalities of mood disorders and cognitive disorders, which make them risk factors for each other.



Book title

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Epidemiology



Publication Date



324 - 345