Hormesis is a biphasic dose response with specific quantitative features for the amplitude and width of the stimulation. It is highly generalizable and independent of biological model, endpoint, inducing agent, level of biological organization and mechanism. Hormesis may be induced via a direct stimulation or by overcompensation to a disruption of homeostasis. The induction of hormesis by low-level stressor agents not only rapidly upregulates adaptive processes to repair damage but also protects the adapted system from damage due to a subsequent challenging dose (toxic) within a definable temporal window. The striking consistency of the amplitude of hormetic response suggests that hormesis provides a quantitative description of biological plasticity. Knowledge of hormesis has particular potential biomedical significance with respect to slowing or retarding both normal aging processes and the progression of severe neurological diseases.

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