Loss and Deprivation: From Animal Models to Clinical Presentation

Kristin M. Penza, Christine Heim, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Loss early in life has long been known to be a risk factor for major depression and several other psychiatric disorders in adulthood. The long-lasting effects of early parental loss are likely mediated by the effects of early-life adversity on neural systems involved in the mediation of stress and emotion. Preclinical studies in rodents and non-human primates demonstrate that loss early in life produces marked behavioral, physiological, and neurobiological changes that persist into adulthood. Many of these effects correspond to classical features of depression. Recent clinical studies have shown that early adversity in humans is associated with similar neurobiological changes. This chapter describes and compares the behavioral and biological findings in both animal paradigms and human research on early loss and deprivation. Potential mediators of the relationship between early loss and depression, as well as treatment implications, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiology of Depression
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Novel Insights to Therapeutic Strategies
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)3527307850, 9783527307852
StatePublished - Jan 29 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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