Surviving Stress: Scientists Search For Causes Of Disorders Resulting From Traumatic Stress

May 25, 1998

Scientists Search For Causes Of Disorders Resulting From Traumatic Stress

WASHINGTON, May 25 - Attacks on the body's delicate biochemical equilibrium (homeostasis) by physical and psychological threats triggers an "exquisite repertoire" of events. This is according to a review of the research in this area published in the May 25 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The brain and the endocrine and immune systems spring into action to reestablish that equilibrium. If they fail, debilitating illness results, says C&EN 's Lois R. Ember. According to Robert M. Sapolsky of Stanford University, "Stress may be the thing that takes a part of our body that was marginally damaged by exposure to God-knows-what sort of toxins and pushes it into overt disease."

By exploring the molecular and cellular events that occur in the traumatic stress response, scientists hope to develop better treatments for the resulting disorders. Among their findings, as reported by Ember, are:
A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus Ohio.

American Chemical Society

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