- Describe the difference between acute and chronic stressors
- Describe the stress response and the effects of cortisol release on the human body. (With which division of the nervous system is the stress response associated?)
- Discuss and label the components of HPA axis and its feedback mechanisms.
- Discuss the pathologies associated with dysregulation of cortisol, focusing on the brain and the immune system.
1. The acute stressors start at a specific time,they do not last long and they do not show up again. In contrast, the chronic stressors do not have a specific start time, they do last long and they possess frequency of recurrences.
2. The stress makes the hypothalamus to emit signals toward pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce and release the stress hormone, called cortisol. This stress hormone elevates the levels of blood pressure and blood sugar till the body eliminates the danger. If the levels of cortisol remain raised for a longer period of time, the memory can be affected by the death of brain cells and the immune system responses are altered.
4. The pathologies associated with HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal) axis dysregulations are caused by acute, chronic and daily stressors and these dysregulations can lead to psychopathic disorders (depersonalization, sschizophrenia in patients with no response to stress because suppressed cortisol levels), anxiety, depression, sleep problems, heart disease, digestive disorders.