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4. Stress effect by gender

4. Stress effect by gender

4.1. Stress in boys and men

Stress during pregnancy and after birth increased the risk in boys for disorders related to1

  • Socialization, e.g. autism spectrum disorder, and
  • Attention and cognition, such as ADHD.

4.2. Stress in girls and women

Girls and women showed resilience to some stressors during pregnancy and postpartum. The risk of stress sequelae possibly increased after periods of hormonal activation and flux such as:1

  • Puberty
    increases the risk of
    • Depression
    • Anxiety disorder
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Pregnancy
    increases the risk of disorders of the
    • Memory processes (dementia)
    • Emotion processes
  • Perimenopause
    increases the risk of disorders of the
    • Memory processes (dementia)
    • Emotion processes

4. Stress system damage causes lifelong stress sensitivity

Experiences are stored in the brain by synchronizing nerve cells. Nerve cells connect to each other through synapses and also form cell groups that fire together through other mechanisms. Even if negative experiences that have caused fear or pain have been “unlearned” again (actively or passively), this does not cause the cell groups to dissolve completely. Individual neurons continue to fire together when the corresponding stimuli are triggered. The fact that no more perceptible (negative) reactions are triggered for the individual is rather due to an inhibition of these reactions by the PFC, but not due to the fact that the experiences made have been completely eliminated from the neurophysiological mapping by the nerve cells. In detail and quite understandably on this Grave2 with reference to LeDoux.3

However, if stressors are added again, this inhibition of the reaction by the PFC is no longer present. This could possibly result from the inhibition of the function of the PFC during great stress due to high norepinephrine levels.

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