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Slide 2

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STRESS can be defined as :
- A pattern of physiological and psychological responses to a
- Its when a person has to cop with something (Usually a
unpleasant stimulus) in the environment and feels unable to do
so.…read more

Slide 3

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The two main ways that a body responds to stress are :
1) The sympathomedullary pathway ­ This is the Immediate response to a stressor
2) The Pituitary-adrenal system ­ This kicks in more slowly
Both involve the HYPOTHALAMUS ( a small structure in the bas of the brain) and
the adrenal gland ( Two glands lying just above the kidneys). The pituitary is a
small gland in the brain just below the Hypothalamus, to which it is connected.…read more

Slide 4

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The Hypothalamus activates the Sympathetic branch of the Atomic Nervous
system (ANS), which immediately begins the body for action `FIGHT or FLIGHT'.
It stimulates the Medulla (the inner part) of the adrenal Gland to release stress
hormones- Adrenaline and Noradrenaline into the blood stream.
These Hormones increase Arousal: Heart rate and blood pressure increase,
Blood is directed to the muscles. Blood sugar levels increase, Bone marrow
produces white blood corpuscles to fight infection , increased perspiration,
slowing down digestion, muscles tense , saliva and mucus dry up increasing
size of air passages to lungs. The body's natural pain killer (endorphins) are
secreted and surface blood vessels constrict to reduce blood loss in case of
injury.…read more

Slide 5

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The Hypothalamus releases corticotrophic- releasing hormones, which
stimulates the pituitary gland to release the hormone ACTH (Adreno-Cortico-
Trophic Hormone) into the blood stream. It reaches the Cortex (The outer part)
of the Adrenal gland causing it to release cortisol into the bloodstream, which
stimulates the liver to release glucose into the blood stream to provide energy
If the stress is only short term and goes away, the parasympathetic branch of
the ANS is activated. This reduces arousal, reversing the changes brought about
by the sympathetic system and stress hormones and the body return to normal.
Necessary to conserve energy. If stressor persists and arousal remains high for
some time, eventually we may become ill. E.g. Long high levels of cortisol may
weaken immune system and prolonged high levels of adrenaline increase levels
of blood cholesterol which is linked to heart disease.…read more

Slide 6

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The immune system consists of white blood cells, including
lymphocytes and T-cells which fight infection by identifying and
destroying bacteria and viruses. White blood cells increase when
infection is present and produces antibodies- Chemicals that kill
bacteria and viruses. Research investigates whether stress reduces
the effectiveness of the immune system.…read more

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