general adaptation syndrome (GAS)

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general adaptation syndrome (GAS)

the three-phase physiological response of the body to a stressor described in 1952 by the endocrinologist Hans Selye, of the University of Montreal. Comprises alarm, resistance/adaptation and exhaustion. The alarm phase is the short-term immediate response involving activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The resistance/adaptation phase involves the activation of the body's defences against the stressor. If the stressor continues and cannot be adapted to, the exhaustion phase ensues in which resistance to the stressor and ability to resist disease collapses.
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