Altered Adrenal Function in Two Combat Situations in Viet Nam

  • Peter G. Bourne


The concept of stress has been accepted widely as a specific somatic response to damage or threat of damage by a wide variety of environmental agents, including events having a psychological rather than physical impact. This concept first was suggested by the observation made in 1911 by Cannon and de la Paz that the adrenal medulla releases a hormone in the cat during the emotional excitement associated with exposure to a barking dog (Cannon & de la Paz, 1911). In 1936, Hans Selye presented evidence of a second endocrine system, the pituitary-adrenal cortical axis. This system, responding often to more subtle aspects of psychic and physical stress, induced even more global and profound influences on metabolic function (Selye, 1936). The work of Cannon and the proposal by Selye of a “General Adaptation Syndrome” led to the expectation by some investigators that these hormones would provide a tangible measure of the degree of stress to which an organism was exposed.


Special Force Adrenal Function Minnesota MUltiphasic Personality Inventory Walter Reed Army Institute Assigned Role 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Bourne
    • 1
  1. 1.South Central Community Mental Health CenterAtlantaUSA

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