Allostasis refers to the way the brain and body respond to challenges or stresses: by reacting, adapting and then recovering. But if the stress is extreme, negative and unrelenting, the brain and body pay a price. That accumulated wear-and-tear, called allostatic load, can cause chemical imbalances, accelerate certain diseases, and even alter brain structures. Genetics, early brain development, the social and physical environment, diet and other behaviors can all influence a person’s allostatic load.
Learn more at www.macses.ucsf.edu/research/allostatic/allostatic.php