Sympathetic-Adrenal and Pituitary-Adrenal Response to Challenge
The sympathetic-adrenal medullary and pituitary-adrenal cortical systems form the corner stones of modern stress research, with roots in Cannon’s and Selye’s work. Both systems are controlled by the brain. Hence, when a person perceives a change, or threat, or challenge in the environment, this triggers a chain of neuroendocrine events. Messages go to the adrenal medulla, which secretes the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline, and to the adrenal cortex, which secretes Cortisol. Catecholamines and Cortisol have several key functions: as sensitive indicators of the stressfulness of person- environment transactions, as regulators of vital bodily functions and, under some circumstances, as mediators of bodily reactions leading to disease. In short, the effects may be adaptive but they may also be harmful, particularly in promoting cardiovascular pathology (Kones, 1979).
KeywordsDepression Cortisol Noradrenaline Adrenaline Catecholamine
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