"The role of microglia in synapse refinement during the neuroendocrine adaptation to stress"
Chronic stress is a major risk factor for serious mental illnesses including major depression, posttraumatic stress disorders and memory impairment. Indeed, stress-related disorders have emerged as "epidemic," estimated to cost $31 billion a year in lost productivity, and billions more in direct medical costs in Canada. How does chronic stress impair our mental health? A common theme in stress-related disorders is that persistent activation of the stress response rewires our brain (known as neuroplasticity) and causes maladaptive forms of neuroplasticity that underlie various disease symptoms.