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Some responses to stress (usually immediate)
Pupils dilate
Heart rate increases
Saliva production decreases
Digestion slows down
Bronchi in the lungs dilate
Etc…read more

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The Sympathetic ­ Adrenomedullary (SAM) pathway
Activation of
Adrenaline and
Threat of stress sympathetic Adrenal
Hypothalamus Noradrenaline
identified branch of Medulla
nervous system
· Prepares the body for `fight or flight'
· Physiological arousal such as increased heart rate
· SAM pathway is an IMMEDIATE response to stress…read more

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The HPA axis
Threat of stress Corticosteroids
Hypothalamus Pituitary gland ACTH released Adrenal cortex
is identified released
· Corticosteroids give us additional energy by converting fats and protein
· HPA is a response to CHRONIC or PROLONGED stress
· If sustained, corticosteroids can suppress the immune system…read more

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Stress-related illness and the immune system
Increased heart rate and blood pressure can lead to physical damage to
the lining of blood vessels or heart muscles
Chronic stress can lead to furring of the arteries and can lead to a heart
Russek looked at heart disease in medical professionals (chronic
stress). He found that 11.9% of high stress GPs had heart disease and
only 3.2% of low stress dermatologists
Williams had 13000 people complete a 10 question anger scale, none of
whom had heart disease. He found that those who scored highest were
2.5x more likely to suffer a heart attack. Six years later, 256 had
experienced a heart attack…read more

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Parts of the Immune System
Natural Immunity:
· made up of white blood Specific Immunity
cells · more sophisticated system Thymus:
· they attack and digest · learns how to recognise · produces T cells which
invading bacteria and viruses invading bacteria and viruses are important for killing
· this is our first line of · does not react as quickly bacteria and viruses
Stress can affect the whole
immune system (ie suppress all of
it) or certain parts of the system
(ie natural more than specific)…read more

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