In Pursuit of Resilience

Abstract

The brain is the central organ for adaptation to experiences, including those we call “stressors,” that are capable of changing brain architecture as well as altering systemic function via the neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune and metabolic systems. Because the brain is the master regulator of these systems, as well as of behavior, alterations in brain function by chronic stress can have direct and indirect effects on cumulative allostatic overload, a term referring to the cost of adaptation. There is much new knowledge regarding neural control of systemic physiology and the feedback actions of physiologic mediators on brain regions regulating higher cognitive function, emotional regulation and self-regulation. The healthy brain has a considerable capacity for resilience, based upon its ability to respond to interventions designed to open “windows of plasticity” and redirect its function towards better health. As a result, plasticity-facilitating treat

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