Certain types of anti-depressants have been linked to an increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. Awareness of this link should improv ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 06, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
At first blush, the health-care and nuclear-power industries don't appear to have much in common. But in a unique, two-day workshop in July 2012, leaders from these two industries met to discuss their similarities and differences, ...
Other May 06, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Regular exercise is touted as an antidote for many ills, including stress, depression and obesity. Physical activity also may help decrease violent behavior among adolescent girls, according to new research to be presented ...
Pediatrics May 06, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
Newspaper articles, TV shows and books are filled with horror stories of children placed in foster care. A new study bucks that trend by showing out-of-home placements can improve the emotional health of some youths who have ...
Pediatrics May 06, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
In a randomized trial performed to help resolve the uncertainty about the optimal oxygen saturation therapy in extremely preterm infants, researchers found that targeting saturations of 85 percent to 89 percent compared with ...
Pediatrics May 05, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Teenagers who are highly exposed to violent video games—three or more hours per day—show blunted physical and psychological responses to playing a violent game, reports a study in the May issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Jo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 03, 2013 | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
Are you wrecking your teeth without even knowing it? For instance, chewing on ice or opening stuff with your teeth may be convenient but using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip.
Dentistry May 03, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 1
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new mouse model that answers the question of what actually happens in the body when type 2 diabetes develops and how the body responds to drug treatment. Long-term ...
Diabetes May 03, 2013 | 3.3 / 5 (3) | 1
(Medical Xpress)—Living with someone with schizophrenia can have a positive impact on their family, according to a preliminary study by QUT.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 03, 2013 | 2 / 5 (2) | 0
The issue of sleep deprivation has gone beyond the counting of sheep and into the scientific domain, as European researchers set up 'sleep labs' to study the biomedical and sociological factors keeping us ...
Health May 03, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Good news for chocolate lovers. New research from Swinburne University of Technology has found that the polyphenols in dark chocolate increase calmness and contentedness.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 03, 2013 | 4 / 5 (6) | 4
A new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers is the first to identify a genetic risk factor for persistent pain after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision and sexual assault.
Medical research May 02, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—Computed tomography (CT) scans are significantly more commonly used in young veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to young veterans without PTSD, according to research ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 02, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Exposure to noise, for example from road traffic, may adversely affect the cardiovascular system. Until now, underlying mechanisms linking noise to elevated cardiovascular risk have rarely been explored ...
Health May 02, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Distinct patterns of brain activity are linked to greater rates of relapse among alcohol dependent patients in early recovery, a study has found. The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 02, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
Stress is a term that is commonly used today but has become increasingly difficult to define. It shares, to some extent, common meanings in both the biological and psychological sciences. Stress typically describes a negative concept that can have an impact on one’s mental and physical well-being, but it is unclear what exactly defines stress and whether or not stress is a cause, an effect, or the process connecting the two. With organisms as complex as humans, stress can take on entirely concrete or abstract meanings with highly subjective qualities, satisfying definitions of both cause and effect in ways that can be both tangible and intangible.
The term stress had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s. It is a form of the Middle English destresse, derived via Old French from the Latin stringere, "to draw tight." It had long been in use in physics to refer to the internal distribution of a force exerted on a material body, resulting in strain. In the 1920s and 1930s, the term was occasionally being used in biological and psychological circles to refer to a mental strain, unwelcome happening, or, more medically, a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness. Walter Cannon used it in 1926 to refer to external factors that disrupted what he called homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a concept central to the idea of stress. In biology, most biochemical processes strive to maintain equilibrium, a steady state that exists more as an ideal and less as an achievable condition. Environmental factors, internal or external stimuli, continually disrupt homeostasis; an organism’s present condition is a state in constant flux wavering about a homeostatic point that is that organism’s optimal condition for living. Factors causing an organism’s condition to waver away from homeostasis can be interpreted as stress. A life-threating situation such as a physical insult or prolonged starvation can greatly disrupt homeostasis. On the other hand, an organism’s effortful attempt at restoring conditions back to or near homeostasis, oftentimes consuming energy and natural resources, can also be interpreted as stress. In such instances, an organism’s fight-or-flight response recruits the body’s energy stores and focuses attention to overcome the challenge at hand. The ambiguity in defining this phenomenon was first recognized by Hans Selye in 1926 who loosely described stress as something that “…in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself." First to use the term in a biological context, Selye continued to define stress as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it.” Present-day neuroscientists including Bruce McEwen and Jaap Koolhaas believe that stress, based on years of empirical research, “should be restricted to conditions where an environmental demand exceeds the natural regulatory capacity of an organism.” Despite the numerous definitions given to stress, homeostasis appears to lie at its core.
Biology has progressed in this field greatly, elucidating complex biochemical mechanisms that appear to underlie diverse aspects of stress, shining a necessary light on its clinical relevance and significance. Despite this, science still runs into the problem of not being able to settle or agree on conceptual and operational definitions of stress. Because stress is ultimately perceived as a subjective experience, it follows that its definition perhaps ought to remain fluid. For a concept so ambiguous and difficult to define, stress nevertheless plays an obvious and predominant role in the every day lives of humans and nature alike.
This text uses material from Wikipedia and is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Latest Spotlight News
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
12 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
12 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 2 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
9 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a series of lab experiments designed to unravel the workings of a key enzyme widely considered a possible trigger of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that in the most severe ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers have developed a new drug delivery system that allows inhalation of chemotherapeutic drugs to help treat lung cancer, and in laboratory and animal tests it appears to reduce the systemic damage ...
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The human gut is loaded with commensal bacteria – "good" microbes that, among other functions, help the body digest food. The gastrointestinal tract contains literally trillions of such cells, and yet the ...
12 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In the long run, encouraging a baby to finish the last ounce in their bottle might be doing more harm than good.
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Moving objects attract greater attention – a fact exploited by video screens in public spaces and animated advertising banners on the Internet. For most animal species, moving objects also play a major ...
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |