Author Interviews, Environmental Risks / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50421" align="alignleft" width="198"]Patricia Pendry Ph.D. Associate Professor of Human Development Graduate Faculty in Prevention Science Washington State University CAHNRS Pullman, WA 99164 Dr. Pendry[/caption] Patricia Pendry Ph.D. Associate Professor of Human Development Graduate Faculty in Prevention Science Washington State University CAHNRS Pullman, WA 99164  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the last decade, university students have reported increasingly high levels of academic stress, depressive symptomology, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. This is a serious problem as students who report these symptoms tend to have lower GPAs and are more likely to drop out of college. Since academic stress is considered an inevitable part of college life, it is important that we identify effective academic stress management programs. One stress management approach that has been enthusiastically received by University administrators and students is the use of campus-based Animal Visitation Programs (AVPs). Established in nearly 1,000 U.S. college campuses to date, most AVPs provide the general student population the opportunity to engage in 5-30 minutes of petting of animals in small-group settings. While students much enjoy these types of programs, relatively little sound scientific evidence is known about the efficacy of such programs to actually reduce stress. We thus embarked on a study that experimentally teased out the effects of hands-on interaction from the effects of waiting in line while watching others engage in hands-on interactions, sitting quietly without social media or other stimuli, or watching pictures of the same animals on students’ level of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone that has been linked to various physical and mental health outcomes.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Endocrinology, NIH / 10.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mihail Zilbermint, M.D. Endocrinologist, Office of the Scientific Director Mihail Zilbermint, M.D. Endocrinologist, Office of the Scientific Director Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Diagnosing Cushing Syndrome is often difficult and challenging.  Diagnosing hypercortisolemia, could require the use of a combination of any of these tests: 24-hour free urine cortisol monitoring, an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and measurement of late night salivary cortisol.  Cortisol levels may change daily, requiring that testing be repeated.  Undiagnosed and untreated Cushing Syndrome greatly increases morbidity and mortality risk. Cortisol levels can be detected in hair samples.  Much like hemoglobin A1C is a long-term indicator of blood glucose levels, efforts have been made to determine if hair cortisol could serve as a long-term measure of the body’s glucocorticoid levels.  We sought to compare the results of cortisol levels for Cushing Syndrome patients with data from data on cortisol in hair segments, to gain further information on the role of sampling hair cortisol as an initial or supportive method for diagnosing Cushing Syndrome.
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, OBGYNE / 21.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29039" align="alignleft" width="120"]Kavita Vedhara FAcSS Professor of Health Psychology Division of Primary Care School of Medicine University Park,N ottingham Prof. Kavita Vedhara[/caption] Kavita Vedhara FAcSS Professor of Health Psychology Division of Primary Care School of Medicine University Park,Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a longstanding interest in the role of the hormone cortisol in fertility, because of its potential to affect the functioning of the biological systems that influence both conception and pregnancy. This interest has extended to IVF, with researchers exploring the relationship between levels of the hormone and pregnancy since the advent of the treatment in the late 1970s. However, a recent review showed that the relationship between cortisol and pregnancy in IVF was unclear. A number of reasons were highlighted for this, including that all of the studies to date had relied on short-term measures of the hormone measured in blood, saliva, urine and sometimes follicular fluid. Such measures can only capture hormone levels over a matter of minutes and hours. Such ‘snapshots’ are unable to give us an accurate picture of the levels of hormone over longer periods of time. This is important because any clinically relevant effects of cortisol on fertility are only likely to occur in the context of long-term changes in the hormone. In recent years it has become possible to measure long-term levels of cortisol in hair. Cortisol is deposited in the hair shaft and because human hair grows, on average, 1cm per month, a 3cm sample of hair closest to the scalp can tell us about levels of cortisol in the previous 3 months. We used the development of this technique to examine whether long term levels of cortisol (as measured in hair), or short term levels of cortisol (as measured in saliva) could predict whether or not women going through IVF would become pregnant. If you are trying to obtain a perfect cortisol balance, I use this product that helps to do just that.