Brain Networks Reorganization During Maturation and Healthy Aging-Emphases for Resilience

Front Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 21;9:601. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00601. eCollection 2018.


Maturation and aging are important life periods that are linked to drastic brain reorganization processes which are essential for mental health. However, the development of generalized theories for delimiting physiological and pathological brain remodeling through life periods linked to healthy states and resilience on one side or mental dysfunction on the other remains a challenge. Furthermore, important processes of preservation and compensation of brain function occur continuously in the cerebral brain networks and drive physiological responses to life events. Here, we review research on brain reorganization processes across the lifespan, demonstrating brain circuits remodeling at the structural and functional level that support mental health and are parallelized by physiological trajectories during maturation and healthy aging. We show evidence that aberrations leading to mental disorders result from the specific alterations of cerebral networks and their pathological dynamics leading to distinct excitability patterns. We discuss how these series of large-scale responses of brain circuits can be viewed as protective or malfunctioning mechanisms for the maintenance of mental health and resilience.

Keywords: brain networks; brain reorganization; health maintenance; lifespan; resilience.

Publication types

  • Review