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Biomarkers Of Chronic Stress

Konduru, Laalithya (2012) Biomarkers Of Chronic Stress. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Stress is defined as the internal process that occurs when a person is faced with a demand that is perceived to exceed the resources available to effectively deal with it. It can be either acute or chronic. The current approaches to measure stress include self reports, measures of affect, measures of stressor exposure and use of biomarkers. This paper seeks to act as a review of the various neuroendocrine biomarkers for chronic stress. A brief overview of metabolic and immunological biomarkers is also included. Serum cholesterol, serum albumin, waist-hip ratio and glycosylated hemoglobin are some of the common metabolic biomarkers. IL-6, TNF-α, CRP and IGF-1 are some of the common immunological biomarkers. Neuroendocrine factors are effective as biomarkers because they are the first to respond to a given stressor and coordinate the response of many other biological systems. Cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine and aldosterone are some of the commonly used neuroendocrine biomarkers. Use of any single biomarker for stress is associated with problems of multiple determination. Allostatic load model utilizes a suite of indicators to measure the effects of stress across many physiological systems. Use of novel technologies like metabolomics, determining changes in ultrastructure of mitochondria and quantifying the induction of DRR1 in the brain are some interesting research areas that could throw up novel biomarkers. Chronic stress is associated with many diseases. It can possibly potentiate the health effects of various exposures and thus, it is an important public health concern. In order to conduct research on any given condition, it is important to characterize that condition. Biomarkers can help characterize stress objectively. Stress, unlike any other pathological condition, triggers a non-specific response and influences multiple physiological systems. Ideally, a study would use a set of biomarkers to measure stress response, while using questionnaires to measure stressor exposure and stress appraisal. The challenge lies in coming up with a set of biomarkers that can capture the chronic stress related information and weed out other confounding factors.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairClougherty, Janejcloughe@pitt.eduJCLOUGHE
Committee MemberBarchowsky, Aaronaab20@pitt.eduAAB20
Committee MemberGianaros,
Date: 27 January 2012
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 November 2011
Approval Date: 27 January 2012
Submission Date: 20 December 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 65
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chronic stress, Biomarkers, Allostatic load
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2012 21:51
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:55


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