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Inflammation and Oxidative Damage During Exam Stress

Carroll, Judith Eggenberger (2006) Inflammation and Oxidative Damage During Exam Stress. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Oxidative stress and resulting oxidative damage at the cellular level is thought to be a major factor in the aging process. Associated cellular dysfunction or loss of elasticity as a result of oxidative stress may increase the risk for age related diseases like cancer and atherosclerosis. Psychological stress may be influential in this process through altered behaviors and/or changes in biological systems that then affect oxidative stress. One source of oxidative stress is inflammation and inflammatory cells such as the neutrophil, which produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recent research suggests that stress may increase inflammation. These increases in inflammation during stress may lead to elevations in oxidative stress, which may be a pathway through which psychological stress increases risk for disease and possibly accelerates aging. To date, no study has examined the potential relationship between inflammation and oxidative stress during times of psychological stress. The present study investigates the interrelationships among stress, neutrophil activity, and oxidative damage, controlling for health behaviors, in a group of 18 healthy professional students taking exams. This study found increases in neutrophil activity during exams when compared to a month after the exam. However, oxidative damage did not increase during exams, and changes in alcohol consumption may partially account for this finding. Interestingly, oxidative damage was found to be highly correlated with neutrophil activity during exams after controlling for demographic and health behaviors. The implication and limitations of these findings are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Carroll, Judith Eggenbergerjec51@pitt.eduJEC51
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBaum, Andrewbaum@pitt.eduBAUM
Committee MemberMarsland, Annamarsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Committee MemberCaggiula, Anthonytonypsy@pitt.eduTONYPSY
Date: 28 September 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 June 2006
Approval Date: 28 September 2006
Submission Date: 31 July 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine; 8-OH-dG; alcohol consumption; DNA damage; exam stress; health behaviors; immune system; inflammation; innate immunity; neutrophil; oxidative burst; oxidative damage; oxidative stress; phagocyte; psychological stress; reactive oxygen species; ROS
Other ID:, etd-07312006-141907
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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