Research Topic

Adolescence and Risk of Psychopathology: Understanding Trajectories and Early Interventions

About this Research Topic

Adolescence is a sensitive period for developing stress-related disorders, such as mood and anxiety disorders. Adolescents who suffered from psychopathology at an early age often struggle with it throughout their lives and, in many cases, show more severe symptoms during adulthood. A driving factor of the increased insurgence of stress-related disorders during adolescence is that brain structures mature at different rates; in particular, subcortical regions mature faster than cortical regions. This difference in growth rates is adaptive but, at the same time, creates vulnerabilities that may lead to stress disorders when exacerbated by genetic and environmental factors. However, during adolescence, the brain is highly plastic and receptive to different types of stimuli, suggesting that therapeutic interventions during this period may be particularly successful.

(R,S)-ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is frequently used as an anesthetic in children. Recently, (R,S)-ketamine has emerged as a rapid-acting antidepressant, and as a prophylactic against stress in adult populations. However, it is still unknown whether (R,S)-ketamine can protect against stress in adolescent populations.

This Research Topic will focus on studying: 1) stress-related disorders during adolescence; and 2) how (R,S)-ketamine administration affects or potentially prevents stress disorders during adolescence. Additionally, the developmental course of sex differences in brain-behavior relationship in adolescence will be considered. Preclinical research alongside clinical research will be discussed in this topic. Overall, these studies may lead to the development of more specific and efficacious treatments for stress-related disorders during adolescence. Additionally, animal research in this topic would provide insights on the molecular, cellular and circuit basis of psychopathology and may help better understand how interventions may be designed.

We welcome articles in the form of Original Research, Short Communication, and Reviews addressing, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

• Effects of stress on adolescence cognitive impairment, and/or mood and anxiety disorders;

• Sex differences associated with cognitive impairment and/or mood and anxiety disorders during adolescence;

• (R,S)-ketamine and other pharmacological strategies to prevent or reverse stress-related cognitive impairment during adolescence.


Keywords: Adolescence, Sex differences, Depression, Anxiety, Memory, Ketamine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Adolescence is a sensitive period for developing stress-related disorders, such as mood and anxiety disorders. Adolescents who suffered from psychopathology at an early age often struggle with it throughout their lives and, in many cases, show more severe symptoms during adulthood. A driving factor of the increased insurgence of stress-related disorders during adolescence is that brain structures mature at different rates; in particular, subcortical regions mature faster than cortical regions. This difference in growth rates is adaptive but, at the same time, creates vulnerabilities that may lead to stress disorders when exacerbated by genetic and environmental factors. However, during adolescence, the brain is highly plastic and receptive to different types of stimuli, suggesting that therapeutic interventions during this period may be particularly successful.

(R,S)-ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is frequently used as an anesthetic in children. Recently, (R,S)-ketamine has emerged as a rapid-acting antidepressant, and as a prophylactic against stress in adult populations. However, it is still unknown whether (R,S)-ketamine can protect against stress in adolescent populations.

This Research Topic will focus on studying: 1) stress-related disorders during adolescence; and 2) how (R,S)-ketamine administration affects or potentially prevents stress disorders during adolescence. Additionally, the developmental course of sex differences in brain-behavior relationship in adolescence will be considered. Preclinical research alongside clinical research will be discussed in this topic. Overall, these studies may lead to the development of more specific and efficacious treatments for stress-related disorders during adolescence. Additionally, animal research in this topic would provide insights on the molecular, cellular and circuit basis of psychopathology and may help better understand how interventions may be designed.

We welcome articles in the form of Original Research, Short Communication, and Reviews addressing, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

• Effects of stress on adolescence cognitive impairment, and/or mood and anxiety disorders;

• Sex differences associated with cognitive impairment and/or mood and anxiety disorders during adolescence;

• (R,S)-ketamine and other pharmacological strategies to prevent or reverse stress-related cognitive impairment during adolescence.


Keywords: Adolescence, Sex differences, Depression, Anxiety, Memory, Ketamine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Abstract
31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Abstract
31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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