1.4._Währborg+et+al.+Stress_Chapter.pdf

1.4._Währborg+et+al.+Stress_Chapter.pdf - 1.4 The...

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1.4. The Physiology of Stress and Stress Recovery Peter Währborg, Panagiota Pervanidou, George P Chrousos The history and philosophy of the stress concept During the 30 s and 40 s, Hans Selye, a Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist, first conceptualized the adaptive response of an organism to external or internal threats, as a process he called “The General Adaptation Syndrome”. In 1956, he published the “Stress of Life” (Selye, 1956) presenting the principal features of what he had originally termed the “general adaptation syndrome” , to which he also refe rred as the “stress syndrome” or simply “stress” (Jackson, 2012). “Stress of Life” was his most influential publication of the relations between stress, health and disease and his model remains the basis of our bio-psycho-social understanding of stress today (Pervanidou and Chrousos, 2007). Before Selye, Walter Cannon attributed the neuroendocrine response to an injury and the release of catecholamines, as part of the “fight or flight reaction”. Selye w as the first to describe the crucial role of the pituitary and the adrenal cortex in the physiology of the stress response and he termed the external or internal force causing stress, “stressor” . Another important contributions was the distinction between positive “eustress” and negative “distress” (Lazarus 1966; Selye 1974). Selye, however, did not only describe the neuroendocrine processes involved in stress reactions, but also diseases related to stress, such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders and peptic ulcer (Szabo, 1998). Furthermore, Selye reflected on the philosophical aspects of stress research: individuals possessed a certain amount of “adaptation energy” that was gradually consumed by the “wear and tear of life”, leading to physiological aging and death (Selye, 1956). A longer and healthier life could be achieved by protecting adaptation energy by “living wi sely in accordance to natural la ws”. Selye argued that the study of nature w ould allow people to “derive philosophical lessons”: similarly to “biological harmony achieved by intracellular altruism (the biological rules governing cells and organs) ”, social harmony and human satisfaction could be enhanced by “interpersonal altruism”(Selye, 19 74; Jackson, 2012). Homeostasis and Stress Physiology Stress is defined as the state of threatened homeostasis, the complex equilibrium that all living organisms try to maintain (Chrousos and Gold, 1992). Homeostasis is normally challenged by everyday external or internal forces, the stressors. The nature, intensity and duration of stressors, as well as the timing of exposure and the perception of stress are important in stress reactions. When a stressor exceeds a certain threshold, the adaptive homeostatic systems of the organism are compensatory activated, in an innate stereotypic response, to regulate homeostasis and protect the organism during acute stress. These adaptive alterations take place both in the central nervous system
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  • Fall '18
  • Matilda
  • Stress, The Land, Cortisol, Posttraumatic stress disorder, The Physiology of Stress and Stress Recovery

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