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general adaptation syndrome


Definition: a syndrome introduced by Hans Selye to describe a single marked physiologic response in the pituitary-adrenal system, as a result of exposure to a variety of prolonged physical or psychological stresses or stressors, with the bodily changes progressing through three stages that the author described as the alarm reaction, resistance, and finally exhaustion.

See: stress4, stress5

Synonym(s): adaptation syndrome of Selye

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.