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Unformatted text preview: Something as simple as good prenatal care—from flu shots to proper nutrition—may help to prevent the
biological chain reactions that underlie many psychological problems.
Stress is suspect
Scientists studying the developmental roots of mental illness have zeroed in on a likely suspect: the body's stress
( /topic s /s tr es s /index .as px ) response. When the body reacts to stressors, tw o systems ki ck i nto gear. The endocri ne system
produces stress hormones such as cortisol. And the sympathetic nervous system churns out other stressrelated
hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine—the factors responsible for the heartpounding, sweatypalms
sensation known as the fightorflight response.
Yet stress physiology encompasses much more than just stress hormones, says Thaddeus Pace, PhD, an assistant
professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. Stress also impacts immune
function. "A stressful event can have profound effects...
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