The brain is exceptionally demanding in terms of energy metabolism. Approximately 20% of the calories consumed are devoted to our cerebral faculties, with the lion's share provided in the form of glucose. The brain's stringent energy dependency requires a high degree of harmonization between the elements responsible for supplying- and metabolizing energetic substrates. However, chronic stress may jeopardize this homeostatic energy balance by disruption of critical metabolic processes. In agreement, stress-related mental disorders have been linked with perturbations in energy metabolism. Prominent stress-induced metabolic alterations include the actions of hormones, glucose uptake and mitochondrial adjustments. Importantly, fundamental stress-responsive metabolic adjustments in humans and animal models bear a striking resemblance. Here, an overview is provided of key findings, demonstrating the pervasive impact of chronic stress on energy metabolism. Furthermore, I argue that medications, aimed primarily at restoring metabolic homeostasis, may constitute a novel approach to treat mental disorders.
Keywords: Brain; Glucose; Metabolism; Resilience; Stress.
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