Stress

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 23-05-13 11:33
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  • Stress
    • Stress is defined as 'a state of psychological or physiological strain caused by an unpleasant stimulus
    • A stressor is a stimulus that produces a stress response, they are not objective
      • Acute stressore are common
        • Demands are pressures from the recent past or anticipated future
      • Chronic stressors are common
        • They come from traumatic experiences
    • The nervous system
      • This is divided into 2 parts
        • CNS: the brain and the spinal chord
        • PNS: neurones which connect the CNS to the rest of the body. Within the PNS is the ANS
          • ANS is the neurones which from brain to organs via the spinal chord
            • Controls bodily functions, there are 2 branches of the ANS
              • Sympathetic
                • 'fight or flight'
                • Blood pressure and heart rate increase, digestion decreases, muscles tense, breathing increases, perspiration increases
              • Parasympathetic
    • The bodies respons to stress
      • Stimulus is appraised and the hypothalamus is alerted
        • SAM system if it is acute
          • Blood pressure and heart rate increase, digestion decreases, muscles tense, breathing increases, perspiration increases
          • Stimulates the Adrenal Medulla which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline
          • Countershock: parasympathetic branch
        • HPA axis if it is chronic
          • Stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain, causes release of ACTH, stimulates adrenal cortex which releases cortisosteroids, e.g. cortisol
            • Hormones: reverses initial stress response
              • Cortisol maintains a steady supply of fuel
            • Surpresses immune system therefore slow healing
    • Stress related illnesses
      • The immune system
        • System of cells which fight against viruses and bacteria: lymphocytes and NK's
      • Kiecolt-Glaser et al
        • Whether stress from short term stressors affects the immune system of medical students
        • Blood samples taken once a month, before and during exam period, measured NK activity + questionnaire
          • NK activity reduces in second blood sample
          • ST stressors reduce immune system
            • Evaluation
              • Other problems, cause and correlation. Only assessed NK cells
              • Naturally occuring, not unethical, repeated messures (no pp)
      • Marucha et al
        • Punch biposies during exams or summer, 40% quicker healing in summer
      • Problems
        • We cannot assume cause and effect - other factors
          • interviews and questions subject to lying
          • Number of different ways to measure iS functioning - hard to compare (R&V)
          • Individual differences
  • Punch biposies during exams or summer, 40% quicker healing in summer

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