Dopayours is not dopamine: genetic, environmental and pathological variations in dopaminergic stress processing

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


    Although excessive exposure to stress is one of the hazards of modern life, it is unclear what effect exposure to stress has on the brain. This thesis focuses on measuring the effects stress has on dopaminergic neurotransmission in the brain. Subjects were exposed to experimental stress (a difficult calculation task) and the levels of daily life stress were measured. The main conclusion was that low levels of dopamine in the brain measured during exposure to stress predicted an increased sensitivity to stress and psychological symptoms caused by stress. High levels of dopamine had a protective effect against stress. This information can contribute to the development of pharmacological interventions for stress-related psychological symptoms.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Maastricht University
    • Germeys, Inez, Supervisor
    • Mottaghy, Felix, Co-Supervisor
    • Collip, D., Co-Supervisor, External person
    Award date22 Jan 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • stress
    • dopamine
    • PET
    • imaging
    • psychiatry

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