The stress response, which occurs when homeostasis is threatened or perceived to be threatened, is mediated by the stress system. Central effectors (including hypothalamic hormones, such as AVP, CRH and pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides and brainstem-derived norepinephrine) and peripheral effectors (including glucocorticoids, norepinephrine and epinephrine) of this system regulate the brain's cognitive, reward and fear systems and wake–sleep centers as well as the growth, reproductive and thyroid hormone axes, and influence the gastrointestinal, cardiorespiratory, metabolic, and immune systems. Malfunction of the stress system might impair growth, development, behavior and metabolism, which potentially lead to various acute and chronic disorders. Our lifestyles and environment in modern societies seem to be particularly permissive for such stress-related disorders.
G. P. Chrousos, First Department of Pediatrics, Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, University of Athens, Thivon and Mikras Asias Streets, Athens 11527, Greece email@example.com
The author has been working in the general area of stress for over 30 years. Multiple book sources and articles in MEDLINE and PubMed were employed. All papers selected were English-language, full-text papers. We also searched the reference lists of identified articles for further primary information. The terms "homeostasis", "stress", "glucocorticoids" and "catecholamines" were crossreferenced with terms pertaining to homeostatic functions influenced by stress, such as "arousal", "sleep", "growth", "reproduction", "metabolism" and "immunity", or to pathological conditions related to stress, such as "anxiety", "depression", "obesity" and "metabolic syndrome".
This review is partially based on the Geoffrey Harris Memorial Lecture given by the author at the 10th European Congress of Endocrinology, 3–7 May 2008, Berlin, Germany.
© 2009 Nature Publishing Group
Cite this: Stress and Disorders of the Stress System - Medscape - Jul 01, 2009.