Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System

Publication Title: 
Journal of Psychiatric Research

Stress related disorders such as depression and anxiety are leading sources of disability worldwide, and current treatment methods such as conventional antidepressant medications are not beneficial for all individuals. There is evidence that yoga has mood-enhancing properties possibly related to its inhibitory effects on physiological stress and inflammation, which are frequently associated with affective disorders. However the biological mechanisms via which yoga exerts its therapeutic mood-modulating effects are largely unknown.

Author(s): 
Pascoe, Michaela C.
Bauer, Isabelle E.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)

OBJECTIVES: Exercise is considered an acceptable method for improving and maintaining physical and emotional health. A growing body of evidence supports the belief that yoga benefits physical and mental health via down-regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The purpose of this article is to provide a scholarly review of the literature regarding research studies comparing the effects of yoga and exercise on a variety of health outcomes and health conditions.

Author(s): 
Ross, Alyson
Thomas, Sue
Publication Title: 
Trauma, Violence & Abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) widely occurs among victims or witness of disasters. With flashbacks, hyperarousal, and avoidance being the typical symptoms, PTSD became a focus of psychological research. The earthquake in Wenchuan, China, on May 12, 2008, was without precedent in magnitude and aftermath and caused huge damage, which drew scientists' attention to mental health of the survivors.

Author(s): 
Hong, Chunlan
Efferth, Thomas
Publication Title: 
Experimental Gerontology
Author(s): 
Everitt, A. V.
Publication Title: 
Psychoneuroendocrinology

Chronically stressed rodents who are allowed to eat calorie-dense "comfort" food develop greater mesenteric fat, which in turn dampens hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity. We tested whether similar relations exist in humans, at least cross-sectionally. Fifty-nine healthy premenopausal women were exposed to a standard laboratory stressor to examine HPA response to acute stress and underwent diurnal saliva sampling for basal cortisol and response to dexamethasone administration.

Author(s): 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
Dallman, Mary F.
Epel, Elissa S.
Publication Title: 
Physiology & Behavior

Long-term exposure to stress and its physiological mediators, in particular cortisol, may lead to impaired telomere maintenance. In this study, we examine if greater cortisol responses to an acute stressor and/or dysregulated patterns of daily cortisol secretion are associated with shorter telomere length. Twenty-three postmenopausal women comprising caregivers for dementia partners (n=14) and age- and BMI-matched non-caregivers provided home sampling of cortisol-saliva samples at waking, 30 min after waking, and bedtime, and a 12-hour overnight urine collection.

Author(s): 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
O'Donovan, Aoife
Lin, Jue
Puterman, Eli
Lazaro, Alanie
Chan, Jessica
Dhabhar, Firdaus S.
Wolkowitz, Owen
Kirschbaum, Clemens
Blackburn, Elizabeth
Epel, Elissa
Publication Title: 
Psychosomatic Medicine

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis associated with disadvantaged social position in working populations also occurs in older age groups. METHODS: This study examines the association of several indicators of social position with two measures of cortisol secretion, a product of the HPA axis. We examined the cortisol awakening response (CAR), and slope of the decline in cortisol secretion across the day.

Author(s): 
Kumari, Meena
Badrick, Ellena
Chandola, Tarani
Adler, Nancy E.
Epel, Ellisa
Seeman, Teresa
Kirschbaum, Clemens
Marmot, Michael G.
Publication Title: 
Depression and Anxiety

Depression has been likened to a state of "accelerated aging," and depressed individuals have a higher incidence of various diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and dementia. Chronic exposure to certain interlinked biochemical pathways that mediate stress-related depression may contribute to "accelerated aging," cell damage, and certain comorbid medical illnesses.

Author(s): 
Wolkowitz, Owen M.
Epel, Elissa S.
Reus, Victor I.
Mellon, Synthia H.
Publication Title: 
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Anxiety disorders increase risk for the early development of several diseases of aging. Elevated inflammation, a common risk factor across diseases of aging, may play a key role in the relationship between anxiety and physical disease. However, the neurobiological mechanisms linking anxiety with elevated inflammation remain unclear. In this review, we present a neurobiological model of the mechanisms by which anxiety promotes inflammation.

Author(s): 
O'Donovan, Aoife
Slavich, George M.
Epel, Elissa S.
Neylan, Thomas C.
Publication Title: 
Physiology & Behavior

Long-term exposure to stress and its physiological mediators, in particular cortisol, may lead to impaired telomere maintenance. In this study, we examine if greater cortisol responses to an acute stressor and/or dysregulated patterns of daily cortisol secretion are associated with shorter telomere length. Twenty-three postmenopausal women comprising caregivers for dementia partners (n=14) and age- and BMI-matched non-caregivers provided home sampling of cortisol-saliva samples at waking, 30 min after waking, and bedtime, and a 12-hour overnight urine collection.

Author(s): 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
O'Donovan, Aoife
Lin, Jue
Puterman, Eli
Lazaro, Alanie
Chan, Jessica
Dhabhar, Firdaus S.
Wolkowitz, Owen
Kirschbaum, Clemens
Blackburn, Elizabeth
Epel, Elissa

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