Developmental pattern of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during pubertal transition and implications for emotional disorders

Zhonghua yu fang yi xue za zhi [Chinese journal of preventive medicine]
X N Duan, Y Sun

Abstract

During an individual's life, puberty is not only a crucial phase for physical development, but a key period for neuroendocrine transformation. As a major neuroendocrine axis, the influence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis's changes during puberty on mental and physical health, as well as emotional symptoms, is causing a growing attention. However, information of its developing pattern and circadian variation is limited. Recent research has demonstrated that certain developing pattern of HPA axis in puberty is closely related to the adolescent emotional disorders, which highlights the recognition of HPA functions developing paths under both resting and stress state and the evaluation of its prediction effect for the adolescent emotional disorders. Generally, cortisol awakening response is utilised to assess HPA functions. Elaborating the variation of HPA axis functions from the puberty to the later developing process provides much guiding significance for the early screening, intervention and treatment of adolescent emotional disorders.

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