SAGE Publications, Neuroscientist, p. 107385841986708, 2019
Psychiatric disorders share the same pattern of longitudinal evolution and have courses that tend to be chronic and recurrent. These aspects of chronicity and longitudinal evolution are currently studied under the deficit-oriented neuroprogression framework. Interestingly, considering the plasticity of the brain, it is also necessary to emphasize the bidirectional nature of neuroprogression. We review evidence highlighting alterations of the brain associated with the longitudinal evolution of psychiatric disorders from the framework of neuroplastic adaptation to pathology. This new framework highlights that substantial plasticity and remodeling may occur beyond the classic deficit-oriented neuroprogressive framework, which has been associated with progressive loss of gray matter thickness, decreased brain connectivity, and chronic inflammation. We also integrate the brain economy concept in the neuroplastic adaptation to pathology framework, emphasizing that to preserve its economy, i.e. function, the brain learns how to cope with the disease by adapting its architecture. Neuroplastic adaptation to pathology is a proposition for a paradigm shift to overcome the shortcomings of traditional psychiatric diagnostic boundaries; this approach can disentangle both the specific pathophysiology of psychiatric symptoms and the adaptation to pathology, thus offering a new framework for both diagnosis and treatment.