Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal System

  • Created by: 217517
  • Created on: 14-03-15 19:40


The situation is appraised and perceived as stressful

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Hypothalamus is alerted. This recognises the stress as chronic

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Hypothalamus activates the HPA axis, which is also known as the Pituitary Adrenal System

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This stimulates the Pituitary Gland in the brain

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The pituitary gland causes the release of several hormones including ACTH, which stands for Adrenocorticotropic hormone

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The release of ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids, the key one being cortisol

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The release of these hormones has a number of physiological effects on the body. Some of these are positive, such as a constant supply of energy to the muscles. Some of these are negative, such as suppression of the body's immune system as a way of conserving energy.

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