Symathomedullary pathway

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  • Created on: 12-05-10 19:38
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What the immune system is:
It's a complex system that provides the body's defences against infection and illness. Made
of cells designed to cope with virus, bacteria and fungi.
Cohen investigated if there is a connection between people who experience
stress and how it leads to being vulnerable to develop a cold.
Cohen used 394 participants and they answered
questionnaires on 3 areas. The number of stressful life
events in previous year,degree of stress and rating of
emotional stability.
These scores added together to make a 'stress index'. Afterwards the participants were
exposed to the common cold virus. 7 days later the number of people who got a cold was
recorded. 82% became infected and it was found that chance of getting a
cold (failing to fight off virus) correlated with their 'stress index' scores.
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Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM)
The Cerebral cortex (stressor) sends signals to the hypothalamus.
In the initial shock response the hypothalamus triggers activity in
sympathetic branch of nervous system. The branch becomes
more active when body is stressed. It stimulates the adrenal
medulla within the adrenal glands, which releases adrenaline and
noradrenaline into the bloodstream.

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