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Stress - a lack of fit between perceived demands and a perceived ability to cope with these demands.

Stressors - anything in the environment which causes a stress response.

Chronic - long term.

Acute - short term.

Immune System - the bodies main defence against infection by foreign agents. It seeks out and destroys invading particles using white blood cells (which are made in bone marrow and circulate the bloodstream).

SAM Pathway

  • Hypothalamus is alerted.
  • Recognised as acute - activates the sympathodeullary (SAM) pathway.
  • Activates the automatic nervous system which stimulates the adrenal medula (part of the adrenal gland) located near the kidneys.
  • The medulla secretes adrenaline and nor adrenaline into the blood, the body is now prepared for fight or flight.
  • This can cause physical changes such as; increased alertness, increased breathing and raised blood pressure.


Parasypathetic Branch - a counter shock response that returns the body back to its normal resting state after a few minutes of stress or once the stressor has been dealt with.

HPA Axis

  • Hypothalamus is alerted.
  • Recognised as chronic - activates the hypothalamic


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