The Stressful Effects Of Climate Change

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The American Institute of Stress states that women are twice as likely to experience major depression compared to men and three times as likely to suffer from anxiety or stress related disorders; most likely due to hormone level differences and a variation of genetic make-up. That being said, women already have a greater chance, statistically and under the previous idea of the human genome, to endure the effects of stress related disorders. However, recent research on a process known as epigenetics states that an individual’s environment can genetically alter their genome. This research shows that if an individual is exposed to high-stress environments or lacks normal stress relieving innate mechanisms, this will genetically alter their genome …show more content…
All of which leave families, specifically women, in a state of distress. Why do all of these biological processes matter? And how do they affect you? Well, chances are that whether it be your mother, sister, wife, or aunt, a woman in your life has experienced stress substantial enough to alter her own epigenome, and pass down a mental illness to her offspring. Although it is arguable how impacting the stressful effects of climate change will be, women in non-industrialized areas, due to insufficient resources available, their extended exposure time to these climatic effects, and the reoccurrence of climate change induced catastrophes, will experience stress substantial enough to cause an increase in mental illnesses of their …show more content…
This process refers to a recent biological principle stating that our genome can be altered by our environment. According to Michael Meaney, a neurobiologist at McGill University, neurons in the hippocampus regulate stress hormones by producing receptors to cease stress hormone production. The cellular response of this process or end result, is the production of proteins that initiate a signaling cascade, eventually reaching the adrenal glands and stopping the production of stress hormones in the body. This area of the brain is affected when an individual experiences environmental stressors. The length of exposure to the environmental stressors directly changes what epigenetic marker is established on their epigenome. Epigenetic markers are methyl groups that either inhibit or prohibit the transcription of genes associated with mental disorders. Once an epigenetic marker has been imprinted on the epigenome, it is permanent unless acted upon by another environmental

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