Stress and Disorders of the Stress System

George P. Chrousos

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In This Article

Introduction

"Hypothalamic hypophysiotropic factors" were originally proposed by G. W. Harris in the 1940s; since then, a substantial body of evidence has confirmed that these factors do indeed exist.[1–3] The survival of complex organisms—at both the individual and species levels—relies on these factors, which include mediators that regulate homeostasis and influence behavior, energy metabolism, growth, reproduction and immunity. This Review provides a brief, albeit comprehensive, synthesis of information on the conceptual evolution, technological advances and current understanding of homeostasis and stress, and describes the salutogenic changes or pathogenic disturbances that are associated with eustress or distress, respectively. This article is divided into three parts: the first discusses the concepts related to homeostasis and stress, the second details the mediators and mechanisms of the stress response, and the third describes the effects of stress on an organism.

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