Adrenaline investigated

Savanna Gharibian

(Sept. 30, 2011) — Junior Yana Pashyan gets off the bus and heads home after a tiring day at school. She is worried about homework, projects and tests. Where to start? While her brain is occupied with thinking about how to get everything done, something else goes on as well. Little does she know that this worry may be affecting something else besides just stressing her out. Students can relate to high levels of stress as they complete their daily assignments. “I get so much homework that I can hardly breathe,” says Pashyan. Pashyan’s life is so dominated by schoolwork that she even thinks about homework when she’s not doing any. “When am I not stressed?” Pashyan asks. Pashyan feels that knowing homework related stress may be causing DNA damage does not make her feel more stressed because she needs to do her homework regardless of anything. “I have no control over that,” states Pashyan. Pashyan does not have any plans for reducing stress. According to Science Daily, chronic stress has been related with chromosomal damage, but now Duke University Medical Center has conducted a research which aids in clarifying how DNA is damaged as a result of stress. According to the research conducted at Duke University Medical Center, chronic stress and high levels of adrenaline can damage the DNA over time. The research consisted of mice being given a mixture that is like adrenaline. As a result there was an outcome of growing DNA damage in the mice.This could give a valid reason of how chronic stress can be the cause of different diseases and disorders such as graying hair, and more menacing conditions such as tumors. While mice are put under stress through injections, students are put under stress by schoolwork. Junior Arpine Pogosyan receives a lot of homework and always has many tests to study for. “I barely have time to study because there’s so much to do,” Pogosyan says. Some of her many stress causing factors are getting good grades and studying for the SAT. Knowing that stress causes DNA damage does not surprise Pogosyan. Now that she knows the harmful effects of stress she tries not to stress out as much over things. “I’m glad I know about it,” says Pogosyan. She brings down her stress level by listening to music, especially classical music. Pogosyan also tries to be optimistic about things in order to not stress out too much. It is evident that students are highly impacted by the stresses of school, and could possibly be harming their DNA. The question remains: What is more important—school or health?