Stress Systems

Descriptions of the two stress systems in the body.

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Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM system)


-Increased heartbeat allows greater blood flow to skeletal muscles.

-Increased pupil size- lets in more light- better vision.

-glycogen in liver converted to glucose for energy.

-Adrenal Medulla releases Adrenaline

-Sweat glands produce more sweat.

-Bronchial tubes dialate- greater oxygen intake.

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The Pituitary-Adrenal System (HPA System)


-Activates hypothalamus, more specifically the paraventricular nucleus. (PVN)

-This produces corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)- released into bloodstream.

-CRF causes pituitary gland to produce adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) which heads to the adrenal glands.

-Adrenal cortex releases cortisol (this has positives and negatives)

- This process takes around 20 minutes.

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