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Study on Stress

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Peter Hirsch The brain perceives a stressor. The hypothalamus is activated which releases CRF. The CRF activates the pituitary gland which releases ACTH. ACTH causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol into the blood stream which causes a stress response. If the stressor doesn't go away, this causes more CRF to be release which ultimately causes more cortisol. When the body is under threat, almost every organ and gland is alerted the neurons from the SNS, by the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. ...read more.


The cells that account for the immune system are white blood cells or leucocytes. They circulate the body seeking out and destroying any organisms that may be harmful. Lymphocytes remember and can recognize previous invaders. There are B-cell lymphocytes and T-cell lymphocytes B-cells work to produce specific antibodies to neutralize infections and t-cells detect infected cells and kill them outright. They are called Natural Killer (NK) cells. Another type of leucocytes cell is macrophages, which engulf and then digests cell debris and pathogens. ...read more.


The rate of which wounds heal was also studied during and before exam time, and showed that wounds healed significantly slower during the exams. Similar results were found with martial stress i.e. chronic stress. More marital problems tend to correlate with increased chance of getting sick and slower to heal physical wounds (arm blisters took 40% longer with recently divorced adults). These results could be explained by the pituitary adrenal system, and the effect of cortisol. Cortisol is released as part of the stress response which suppresses the immune system. When cortisol levels are consistently high the immune system is consistently suppressed and the body is much more vulnerable to infections and illnesses (and wounds). ...read more.

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