The pituitary-adrenal system/ hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is seens as the body's 'stress system', controlling levels of cortisol. Activation of the HPA occurs in response to chronic stress situations.
- when stressors are perceived by the brain, a message passes to the hypothalamus (small cone-shaped part of the brain)
- hypothalamus = control system for most of the body's hormonal system
- activation of part of the hypothalamus - the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) - leads to production of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)
- CRF released into bloodstream in repsonse to the stressor.
The pituitary gland
- CRF caused the pituitary to produce and release adrenocorticotrophic hormone (…