Essay on Assignment 3

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HLTH 101 Fall 2014 Dr. Diane Williams

Tutorial Assignment 3 due Week 8: Stress, Allostatic Load, and Health

Answer the following questions. The first 5 questions are based on the McEwan article you read for tutorial during Week 7 (reference included below). Be sure to paraphrase from the article in your own words, rather than copying and pasting sentences. You may quote short phrases from the article, but you must cite if you use quotations. If you choose to use other sources to answer some of the questions, you must cite those as well and list the references (APA format) at the end. Here is general information on what is required for the assignment:
You must submit your assignment (i.e. this file with your answers to the questions) electronically (Word document ONLY) to the LEARN dropbox for Assignment 3 by 4:30 pm during the day of your normally-scheduled tutorial during Week 8 (i.e. Oct 27-31).
If for some reason you are having problems uploading the file to the DropBox, you may email it to your TA in order to get it submitted on time (if you email your TA after the time it is due, you will be penalized for lateness). You MUST follow up with LEARN help ( and get your assignment uploaded to the DropBox soon after the due date so your TA can enter your marks and feedback into the DropBox.
You must submit THIS file with your answers to the questions. Keep the format of this file (i.e. don’t change the font, font size, line spacing, or margins).
Note that if you do not have Microsoft Word on your computer, you can always log onto one of the campus computers to use the software.
You must answer the questions in a clear and concise manner using proper grammar and spelling (i.e. you WILL lose marks for unclear writing or for poor grammar and spelling).

Article for Questions 1-5:
McEwen, B. S. (1998). Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine, 338(3), 171-179. 1) Define the terms allostasis and allostatic load.
Allostasis refers to the changes made in the body to maintain stability.
Allostatic load refers to the “wear and tear” (McEwan, 1998) the body experiences due to the repeated cycles of allostatic systems.

2) What systems/axes in the body are involved in allostasis? What signal molecules initiate the allostatic response?

In allostasis, the most common responses are from the sympathetic nervous systems and the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis.
During this response, the activation results in the release of catecholamines from the nerves as well as the adrenal medulla, and leads the pituitary to secrete corticotropin. The corticotrophin, then mediates the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex.

3) What factors are important in determining individual differences in responses to stressful situations?

There are two important factors in determining differences in responses to stressful situations. The fist factor is a person’s general state of physical health that includes their genetic factors as well as behavioral and lifestyle choices. The second factor is the way a person perceives the situation, whether it is a physiological threat or a physical threat.

4) Describe the 4 different types of allostatic load (Fig 3) and for each describe a study in either humans or animals (summarized in the McEwan article) that showed an adverse health outcome associated with that type of allostatic load.

1. Type 1: Frequent stress
In humans, myocardial infarction can be triggered by surges in blood pressure in susceptible persons.
In animals, the risk of myocardial infraction was increased due to the acceleration of atherosclerosis from repeated elevations of blood pressure over weeks and months.

2. Type 2: Adaptation to repeated stressors of the same type.