Stress, Sex And Addiction: Roles Of Corticotrophin Releasing Factor, Oxytocin And Arginine- Vasopressin In Sex Addiction Stress.
Stress sensitivity and sex are predictive factors for the development of neuropsychiatric conditions. it has been thought stresses are the sole cause for addiction but this isn’t true since triggers can also cause relapse to drug use. Sex Addiction Stress and stress involve similar pathways.
The development and clinical course of addiction-related disorders do appear to involve neuroadaptations within neurocircuitries that modulate stress responses and are influenced by several neuropeptides. These include corticotropin-releasing factor, the prototypic member of this class, as well as oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin that play important roles in affiliative behaviors. Interestingly, these peptides function to balance emotional behavior, with sexual dimorphism in the oxytocin/arginine-vasopressin systems, a fact that might play an important role in the differential responses of women and men to stressful stimuli and the specific sex-based prevalence of certain addictive disorders.
Stress generally is defined as any stimulus that challenges physiological homeostasis—that is, which alters the balance or equilibrium of the normal physiological state of the organism.
Individuals exposed to chronic stress exhibit a higher propensity to become addicts. Stress-induced relapse is also higher in addicts. In general, there is a higher prevalence of addiction in patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders and depression. Additionally, childhood trauma is associated with increased vulnerability to addiction. Exposure to high peer deviance in childhood and adolescence is among the strongest known risk factors for drug use and drug abuse. Interestingly, a very recent study has found that individuals with increased risks of drug addiction because of parental divorce or genetic liability are more sensitive to the pathogenic effects of peer deviance.
Stress and addiction are interconnected in several ways. For example, stressful life events may predispose individuals to engage in addictive behavior or relapse.
Epidemiological studies have observed significant sex- specific differences among patients suffering from addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The onset, severity, clinical course, and treatment response of anxiety disorders also differ significantly in women compared to men. Importantly, the sex bias in neuropsychiatric disorders, including post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), remains even after adjusting for the type of trauma, pre-existing psychiatric disorders, and sex differences in reporting. Several studies have found increased prevalence of depression in women. Similar sex differences exist for addictive disorders. For example, more adult males abuse addictive drugs than females across most drug classes, including alcohol, psychostimulants, and narcotics. However, women develop addiction more quickly. There are also critical differences in the way that illicit substances affect the two sexes.
Men and women also show different propensities to relapse, and are differentially affected by triggers for relapse to drug taking, putting women at greater risk for repeated relapses despite the higher prevalence of drug abuse in men. Interestingly, once the addiction cycle resumes, women show longer periods of drug use before their next quit attempt.
The sex differences may also be a result of hormonal and neural differences between men and women in relationship to their response to the addictive behavior.
Corticotropin-releasing factor and Sex addiction Stress.
CRF is a 41-amino acid-containing neuropeptide. CRF orchestrates the stress response by acting at the level of the pituitary to initiate the HPA axis response to stress, as well as centrally to modulate limbic and brain monoamine systems that are important in autonomic and behavioral components of the stress response. CRF causes its effects by stimulation of corticotropin-releasing factor 1 receptor (CRF1R) and CRF2R, and displays an 18-fold greater affinity for CRF1R than CRF2R.
Physiological responses to stress involve the release of CRF from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, followed by stimulation of ACTH release from the anterior pituitary. ACTH, in turn, stimulates the secretion of cortisol/corticosterone from the adrenal glands. In addition, CRF has an extensive extrahypothalamic influence across the corticostriatal-limbic regions, and plays a critical role in modulating subjective and behavioral stress responses. Central catecholamines, particularly noradrenaline and dopamine, are involved in modulating brain motivational pathways that are important in regulating distress, exerting cognitive and behavioral control, and tempering behavioral and cognitive responses critical for adaptation and homeostasis. The hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic CRF pathways and central catecholamines target brain motivational path- ways to critically affect adaptive and homeostatic processes. CRF dysregulation has been linked to the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. During stress, release of limbic CRF can modulate monoamine systems that have been implicated in mood and cognition. Although activation of both the HPA axis and central monoaminergic systems by CRF during acute stress is adaptive, the inappropriate or persistent activation of these systems can have adverse consequences leading to psychopathology.
Oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin in Sex addiction Stress
Cells originating in the PVN have specific pathways that efficiently deliver OXY to other structures in the brain including the amygdala, BNST, septum, hippocampus, and NAc. OXY released by peripheral organs or by the posterior pituitary does not readily cross the blood–brain barrier, with only 1–2% crossing. In disparity, the local expression of OXY receptors is highly variable and explains differences in social attachment within and between species. OXY exerts anxiolytic and anti- depressive effects in various models.
OXY, in collaboration with hormone dopamine, is vital for pairing and bonding in prairie voles. When OXY is infused into the VTA, it increases dopaminergic activity in the NAc, and stimulation of oxytocinergic projections within the VTA increases extracellular DA within the NAc while concurrently inducing penile erection. OXY-induced dopaminergic release within the meso- limbic DA system may impact the attribution of incentive salience to a variety of social stimuli and ultimately influence an organism’s drive towards such objects thus causing addiction.
Sex Addiction Stress is a menace that should be fought by all means that is why we at Integrative Addiction Institute are committed to availing help to addicts and offering training to Health care providers in Integrative Addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) today for assistance.