The relationship between stress and disease, in particular cardiovascular disease, has long been recognized, whereas the study of the physiological mechanisms that explain this link has only more recently received attention. The acute response to stress is generally thought to be a critically important adaptation designed to activate the system in preparation to cope with the stressor. However, prolonged stimulation of the system (acute and chronic) can lead to deleterious adaptations including the release of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins important in cell signaling) that play a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis. Scientists have therefore used a breadth of protocols and methods to identify the complexity of our fight-or-flight response and demonstrate the synergy between perception, the stress response, physical activity, and health. In addition, the critical assessment of cellular health, the gut microbiome, and genetic polymorphisms have further advanced our understanding of additional therapeutic targets against CVD.
Physiological Activation to Acute Mental Challenge: Implications for Cardiovascular Health
Edmund O. Acevedo and Aaron L. Slusher
Preconditioning Strategy in Rugby-7s Players: Beneficial or Detrimental?
Bruno Marrier, Alexandre Durguerian, Julien Robineau, Mounir Chennaoui, Fabien Sauvet, Aurélie Servonnet, Julien Piscione, Bertrand Mathieu, Alexis Peeters, Mathieu Lacome, Jean-Benoit Morin, and Yann Le Meur
the HPA axis and the hypothalamopituitary–gonadal axis, respectively. Concomitantly, the use of the salivary α-amylase (sAA) is recognized as a reliable indicator of the activity of the SAM system. 19 Studies regarding the effects of a preconditioning session in rugby players have reported an
Lifetime Stressor Exposure and Psychophysiological Reactivity and Habituation to Repeated Acute Social Stressors
Ella McLoughlin, Rachel Arnold, Paul Freeman, James E. Turner, Gareth A. Roberts, David Fletcher, George M. Slavich, and Lee J. Moore
( McLoughlin et al., 2021 ). When exposed to acute stressors (e.g., delivering a speech), the nervous system responds immediately by activating the sympathetic–adrenal–medullary (SAM) system, which stimulates increases in heart rate and blood pressure ( Turner et al., 2021 ). The endocrine system also responds