How exposure to chronic stress contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes: a complexity science approach

Nadège Merabet, Paul J Lucassen, Loes Crielaard, Karien Stronks, Rick Quax, Peter M A Sloot, Susanne E la Fleur, Mary Nicolaou

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Abstract

Chronic stress contributes to the onset of type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet the underlying etiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Responses to stress are influenced by earlier experiences, sex, emotions and cognition, and involve a complex network of neurotransmitters and hormones, that affect multiple biological systems. In addition, the systems activated by stress can be altered by behavioral, metabolic and environmental factors. The impact of stress on metabolic health can thus be considered an emergent process, involving different types of interactions between multiple variables, that are driven by non-linear dynamics at different spatiotemporal scales. To obtain a more comprehensive picture of the links between chronic stress and T2D, we followed a complexity science approach to build a causal loop diagram (CLD) connecting the various mediators and processes involved in stress responses relevant for T2D pathogenesis. This CLD could help develop novel computational models and formulate new hypotheses regarding disease etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100972
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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