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Stress: Immediate Response

A stressful situation activates three major communication systems in the brain, all of which regulate bodily functions.

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Stress: The Role of Glucocorticoids

In response to signals from a brain region called the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoids, hormones that produce an array of effects in response to stress.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

After one witnesses something truly terrible, they can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder – an affliction that can make it impossible to continue one's life as normal.

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Introduction

From looming deadlines at work to traffic on the commute home, stress is a natural part of modern life. In response to stressful or fearful experiences, the brain releases chemicals that help the body respond quickly. While research shows short bouts of stress can be of some benefit, constant stress can prove dangerous, increasing the risk of mental illness and other diseases. Understanding what makes people more or less resilient to stress and fear may one day lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ongoing studies are helping researchers understand how genetic makeup, the environment, and exposure to stress early in life can influence vulnerability to stress and anxiety. Recent studies highlight the molecular, cellular, and structural differences in the brains of people with anxiety disorders. Such insight could help doctors make quicker diagnoses and might one day lead to new avenues for drug discovery.

Discoveries

Brain, Behavior, and Environmental Change

Source: Society for Neuroscience
According to environmental scientists, the climate is changing due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Research shows environmental change can affect the brain and behavior.

Anxiety Disorders: OCD and Phobia

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Considered the most common mental illnesses, anxiety disorders affect an estimated 18 percent of the adult population in a given year, or 40 million Americans.

Stress: The Role of Glucocorticoids

Source: Society for Neuroscience
In response to signals from a brain region called the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoids, hormones that produce an array of effects in response to stress.

Stress and Anxiety in the News

Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much

Source: National Public Radio
Date: 9 July 2014
A racing mind and a pounding heart aren't all bad — the stress response can help humans and other animals deal with the unexpected.

Meditation And the Brain: More Thoughts And Feelings Wander 'Freely On Their Own'

Source: Medical Daily
Date: 19 May 2014
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and has widely been known as a successful relaxant and treatment for stress. According to researchers, it’s now also a proven way to process more memories and emotions.

Zoo-Raised Gorillas Prefer Forest Sounds Over Chopin

Source: Inside Science
Date: 12 May 2014
Captive gorillas display fewer stress-related behaviors in response to rainforest sounds.