Chronic stress

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Chronic stress is stress that happens over a long period of time. It is different than acute stress, which happens over a short period of time and then goes away.

Stress is a normal part of every living thing's daily life. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can damage the body and the mind. When a person (or animal) is stressed, the body reacts in certain ways - for example, by releasing chemicals called corticosteroids.[1][2] If this happens again and again, over a long period of time, it can change the way the brain works.[3][4] These changes can damage working memory[5] spatial memory,[5] and decision-making skills.[6] They can also increase aggression.[7]

Chronic stress can cause (or worsen) many different medical problems. For example, people who have had chronic stress are more likely to get hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease.[8]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Sapolsky RM. (1998). Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide To Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping. 2nd Rev Ed, W. H. Freeman ISBN 978-0-7167-3210-5
  2. McEwen BS (2007). "Physiology and neurobiology of stress and adaptation: central role of the brain". Physiol Rev 87 (3): 873–904. doi:10.1152/physrev.00041.2006. PMID 17615391. 
  3. Sousa N, Lukoyanov NV, Madeira MD, Almeida OF, Paula-Barbosa MM (2000). "Reorganization of the morphology of hippocampal neurites and synapses after stress-induced damage correlates with behavioral improvement". Neuroscience 97 (2): 253–266. doi:10.1016/S0306-4522(00)00050-6. PMID 0799757. 
  4. Radley JJ, Sisti HM, Hao J, Rocher AB, McCall T, Hof PR, McEwen BS, Morrison JH (2004). "Chronic behavioral stress induces apical dendritic reorganization in pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex". Neuroscience 125 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.01.006. PMID 15051139. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mizoguchi K, Yuzurihara M, Ishige A, Sasaki H, Chui DH, Tabira T (2000). "Chronic stress induces impairment of spatial working memory because of prefrontal dopaminergic dysfunction". J Neurosci 20 (4): 1568–74. PMID 10662846. 
  6. Dias-Ferreira E, Sousa JC, Melo I, Morgado P, Mesquita AR, Cerqueira JJ, Costa RM, Sousa N (2009). "Chronic Stress Causes Frontostriatal Reorganization and Affects Decision-Making". Science 325 (5940): 621–625. doi:10.1126/science.1171203. PMID 19644122. 
  7. Mineur YS, Prasol DJ, Belzung C, Crusio WE (September 2003). "Agonistic behavior and unpredictable chronic mild stress in mice". Behavior Genetics 33 (5): 513–519. doi:10.1023/A:1025770616068. PMID 14574128. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  8. Blascovich J., Spencer S. J., Quinn D. M., Steele C. M. (2001). "African Americans and high blood pressure: The role of stereotype threat". Psychological Science 13 (3): 225–229.