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Summary of article abstract by Bruce S. McEwen, PhD.

Topic: Protective/Damaging effects of stress mediators: central role of the brain

This article summarizes some of the current information, placing emphasis on how the stress hormones can play both protective and damaging roles in brain and body, depending on how tightly their release is regulated. It also discusses some of the approaches for dealing with stress in our complex world and explains how the mind and body work together and communicate with one another. It is noted that stress is not derived from a particular event, rather from the whole of the events of our daily lives. The accumulative effect of these events cause unhealthy behaviors that root themselves in disease, sleep deprivation, and other effects on the body and mind eventually resulting in what the author terms “allostatic load.”