Environment, Genes, and Mental Health

  • Hans Jörgen GrabeEmail author


The vulnerability stress model, as related to mental disorders, has gained much attention since it captures the multifactorial nature of the disorders. In the last few years, research activities have aimed at identifying biological and genetic components that interact with psychosocial factors, such as stressful life events and city living, which according to this model increase or lower vulnerability to mental disorders. Interplay between environmental factors and biological systems (e.g., stress-axis/hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis) and clinical outcomes will be analyzed from an anticipatory perspective. Previous studies on brain structure and childhood traumatization have implicated limbic regions like the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and frontal areas. Functional changes in those areas are proposed to mediate the long-term risk of mental disorders. The societal and clinical impact of those findings and models will be discussed.


Genetics Childhood adversity Mental disorders Individualized medicine Prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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