1. Stress

 

Aspect 2: Stress, a true modern-day epidemic

Below are 4 pieces of research which look at specific aspects of stress which you may or not have heard about. 

Scientists from Bangalore Identify How A Single Stressful Event Effects The Body:

Supriya Ghosh, T. Rao Laxmi, and Dr. Sumantra Chattarji of the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore have also carried out research which studied the effects of stressful experiences on synapses, cells and microcircuits in the hippocampus and amygdala.  They captured, for the first time, changes in the brain that they say might explain how the brain’s emotion centre under conditions of chronic stress takes over a region that processes factual memories.  They say that this explains why people exposed to chronic stress become forgetful and display increasing levels of anxiety and emotions

Which of these applies to you?

 

I have never been aware of this.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have not acted upon it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but keep putting off dealing with it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have acted upon it intermittently.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me and have consistently acted upon it.

 

Stress on Disease: Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body

How exactly psychological stress influences disease and health is only just beginning to be understood.  An important step in that growing understanding is a piece of research led by Professor Sheldon Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University.

He states, “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. As inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well."

He added, "Knowing this is important for identifying which diseases may be influenced by stress and for preventing disease in chronically stressed people."

Which of the following apply to you?

 

I have never been aware of this.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have not acted upon it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but keep putting off dealing with it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have acted upon it intermittently.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me and have consistently acted upon it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon family and colleagues.

 

How stress tears us apart: Enzyme attacks synaptic molecule, leading to cognitive impairment

Why is it that when people are too stressed they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? Carmen Sandi's team at EPFL discovered an important synaptic mechanism in the effects of chronic stress. It causes the massive release of glutamate which acts on NMDA receptors, essential for synaptic plasticity. These receptors activate MMP-9 enzymes which, like scissors, cut the nectin-3 cell adhesion proteins. This prevents them from playing their regulatory role, making subjects less sociable and causing cognitive impairment

Which of the following apply to you?

 

I have never been aware of this.

 

What do you do to protect yourself from this effect?

 

What do you do to protect others in your care from this effect?

 

Your Stress is My Stress: Observing stress can trigger physical stress response

Observing another person in a stressful situation can be enough to make our own bodies release the stress hormone cortisol is the conclusion reached by scientists involved in a large-scale cooperation project between the departments of Tania Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and Clemens Kirschbaum at the Technische Universität Dresden.

Stress becomes a problem primarily when it is chronic. "A hormonal stress response has an evolutionary purpose, of course. When you are exposed to danger, you want your body to respond with an increase in cortisol," explains Engert. "However, permanently elevated cortisol levels are not good. They have a negative impact on the immune system and neurotoxic properties in the long term." Thus, individuals working as caregivers or the family members of chronically stressed individuals have an increased risk to suffer from the potentially harmful consequences of empathic stress. Anyone who is confronted with the suffering and stress of another person, particularly when sustained, has a higher risk of being affected by it themselves.

Which of the following apply to you?

 

I have never been aware of this.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have not acted upon it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but keep putting off dealing with it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me but have acted upon it intermittently.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon me and have consistently acted upon it.

 

I am aware of this and how it impacts upon family and colleagues.