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Article

Pilot Study on the Effect of Biophysical Therapy on Salivary Alpha-Amylase as a Surrogate Measure of Anxiety/Stress: In Search of a Novel Noninvasive Molecular Approach for the Management of Stress

1
Studio Medico Gunè, 80011 Acerra, Italy
2
Clinical Biophysics International Research Group, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
3
CE Medical Writing, 56023 Pisa, Italy
4
Institute of Translational Pharmacology, National Research Council-C.N.R., 00185 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020415
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nonmainstream Approach in Science Discoveries)
Anxiety and depression impact dramatically on public health, underlying the importance of alternative cost-effective treatments. Previous studies have shown that biophysical treatment can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms and recently, salivary alpha-amylase (SAA) has been identified as an objective correlate of the sympathetic-parasympathetic imbalance related to increased stress burden, defined as allostatic load. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of biophysical therapy on SAA levels, in addition to the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS)-21 questionnaire. Twenty-four workers (sales representatives) presenting with mild anxiety/stress symptoms (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale of > 5) were randomized to biophysical treatment (N = 12) or placebo control (N = 12). The biophysical group underwent electromagnetic information transfer through an aqueous system procedure, with daily self-administration for one month. SAA collection and the DASS-21 questionnaire were undertaken at baseline and after one month in all patients. Clinical characteristics and baseline DASS-21 subscale scores were similar between placebo and biophysical group at baseline. After one month, patients receiving biophysical therapy had significantly reduced SAA levels compared to the placebo group (27.8 ± 39.4 vs. 116.8 ± 114.9 U/mL, p = 0.019). All three DASS-21 subscales, depression (9.3 ± 5.1 vs. 5.7 ± 5.5, p = 0.1), anxiety (6.7 ± 25 vs. 3.7 ± 2.2, p = 0.0049) and stress (10.8 ± 4.2 vs. 7.3 ± 3.7, p = 0.041) were also decreased after biophysical treatment compared to placebo after one month. Our findings suggest that biophysical therapy can benefit workers with mild (subclinical) anxiety/stress. These results were also validated by the concomitant reduction of SAA levels and an improvement in DASS-21 subscales. The underlying molecular mechanisms of this therapy remain to be characterized. View Full-Text
Keywords: anxiety; work stress; salivary alpha-amylase; biophysical therapy; electromagnetic information transfer anxiety; work stress; salivary alpha-amylase; biophysical therapy; electromagnetic information transfer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrara, I.; Egan, C.G.; Foletti, A. Pilot Study on the Effect of Biophysical Therapy on Salivary Alpha-Amylase as a Surrogate Measure of Anxiety/Stress: In Search of a Novel Noninvasive Molecular Approach for the Management of Stress. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 415. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020415

AMA Style

Ferrara I, Egan CG, Foletti A. Pilot Study on the Effect of Biophysical Therapy on Salivary Alpha-Amylase as a Surrogate Measure of Anxiety/Stress: In Search of a Novel Noninvasive Molecular Approach for the Management of Stress. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(2):415. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020415

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferrara, Ida, Colin G. Egan, and Alberto Foletti. 2020. "Pilot Study on the Effect of Biophysical Therapy on Salivary Alpha-Amylase as a Surrogate Measure of Anxiety/Stress: In Search of a Novel Noninvasive Molecular Approach for the Management of Stress" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 2: 415. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020415

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