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epi12377-sup-0001-FigureS1.tifimage/tif52756KFigure S1. The physiological response to stress through the HPA axis and the SAM system. Stressful stimuli are processed by the cortex through structures including the thalamus. The information is then relayed to the amygdala. The psychological and physiological response to stressful stimuli depends on the interactions of amygdala and limbic structures in the frontal and temporal lobes as well as motor and pre-motor regions of the brain. The hypothalamus is activated to release corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) through projections from limbic structures. CRH triggers secretion adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary gland, which in turn activates the adrenal cortex to produce corticosteroid hormones (CORT). The release of CORT into the blood stream helps the organism to adapt to the given stressor. CORT also exerts negative feed back on pituitary, hypothalamus and affects a number of excitatory and inhibitory processes in brain areas, which are commonly involved in epilepsy. Stress also causes the hypothalamus to activate the adrenal medulla, resulting in the secretion of adrenaline (ADR) and elevated release of noradrenaline (NA) in the brain. This in turn leads to activation of the sympathetic nervous system and increased arousal of the organism.

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