Special Issue "Stress Biomarkers"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Catherine Bielajew
Website
Guest Editor
Stress, Immunocompetence, and Health Laboratory, Behavioural Neuroscience Group, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 136 Jean-Jacques Lussier, Vanier 2081, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada
Interests: stress biomarkers in clinical populations; gender differences; neuropsychological consequences of breast cancer treatments
Ms. Guergana Mileva

Guest Editor
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 136 Jean Jacques Lussier, Vanier Hall, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of salivary stress biomarkers on our understanding of the relationship between stress and health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Substantial research has found that stress negatively affects health, weakens the immune system, and increases susceptibility to a wide range of illnesses. The economic burden of stress-related work absences is enormous, estimated in the billions in Canada alone. Now considered the diagnostic tool of the future in medicine, the use of salivary biomarkers in paticular has become a popular technique that is exploited in human research paradigms, particularly in the context of stress research. While cortisol is a well-established neuroendocrine marker of stress, other secretory and immunological substances are being examined in order to provide a more thorough and integrated understanding of the human stress response.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to stress biomarkers and their impact on human health and well-being. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Catherine Bielajew
Ms. Guergana Mileva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • salivary biomarkers
  • health
  • cortisol
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
  • allostatic load
  • immune system
  • stress
  • sympathetic nervous system
  • environment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Outgroup Threat and Opportunity to Derogate on Salivary Cortisol Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13060616 - 21 Jun 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Perceptions of intergroup threat have been related to both experiences of physiological stress responses and derogation of the outgroup. In this study, a neuroscience perspective was used to investigate the relationship between stress and opportunity to derogate the outgroup, in a threatening intergroup [...] Read more.
Perceptions of intergroup threat have been related to both experiences of physiological stress responses and derogation of the outgroup. In this study, a neuroscience perspective was used to investigate the relationship between stress and opportunity to derogate the outgroup, in a threatening intergroup context. Research from a social identity perspective suggests that engaging in outgroup derogation alleviates stress when perceiving an intergroup threat. However, in line with the model of intergroup anxiety, opportunity to derogate could exacerbate the negative connotations of a threatening situation, resulting in more stress. Canadian participants (N = 110) were exposed to text describing either discriminatory or favorable comments expressed by Chinese individuals towards Canadians. Half of the participants were given the opportunity to derogate via a bias task. Salivary cortisol was used as a measure of stress and was collected at baseline, post-threat, and post-derogation. As expected, threatening identity led to more stress as evidenced by increased cortisol concentrations. Furthermore, threatened participants who had an opportunity to derogate showed greater cortisol concentrations than those who did not. These results demonstrate a link between stress and the opportunity to derogate, and highlights the value of using biological markers within the intergroup context. Rewrite abstract to remove all the references (they are meaningless because the abstracting services will use the abstract as is but will not provide the references so their presence is useless. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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Open AccessArticle
Salivary Alpha-Amylase Reactivity in Breast Cancer Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040353 - 23 Mar 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
The two main components of the stress system are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) axes. While cortisol has been commonly used as a biomarker of HPA functioning, much less attention has been paid to the role of the SAM in this context. [...] Read more.
The two main components of the stress system are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) axes. While cortisol has been commonly used as a biomarker of HPA functioning, much less attention has been paid to the role of the SAM in this context. Studies have shown that long-term breast cancer survivors display abnormal reactive cortisol patterns, suggesting a dysregulation of their HPA axis. To fully understand the integrity of the stress response in this population, this paper explored the diurnal and acute alpha-amylase profiles of 22 breast cancer survivors and 26 women with no history of cancer. Results revealed that breast cancer survivors displayed identical but elevated patterns of alpha-amylase concentrations in both diurnal and acute profiles relative to that of healthy women, F (1, 39) = 17.95, p < 0.001 and F (1, 37) = 7.29, p = 0.010, respectively. The average area under the curve for the diurnal and reactive profiles was 631.54 ± 66.94 SEM and 1238.78 ± 111.84 SEM, respectively. This is in sharp contrast to their cortisol results, which showed normal diurnal and blunted acute patterns. The complexity of the stress system necessitates further investigation to understand the synergistic relationship of the HPA and SAM axes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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Open AccessCommunication
Depressive Mood and Testosterone Related to Declarative Verbal Memory Decline in Middle-Aged Caregivers of Children with Eating Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030286 - 04 Mar 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Caring for children diagnosed with a chronic psychological disorder such as an eating disorder (ED) can be used as a model of chronic stress. This kind of stress has been reported to have deleterious effects on caregivers’ cognition, particularly in verbal declarative memory [...] Read more.
Caring for children diagnosed with a chronic psychological disorder such as an eating disorder (ED) can be used as a model of chronic stress. This kind of stress has been reported to have deleterious effects on caregivers’ cognition, particularly in verbal declarative memory of women caregivers. Moreover, high depressive mood and variations in testosterone (T) levels moderate this cognitive decline. The purpose of this study was to characterize whether caregivers of individuals with EDs (n = 27) show declarative memory impairments compared to non-caregivers caregivers (n = 27), using for this purpose a standardized memory test (Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test). Its purpose was also to examine the role of depressive mood and T in memory decline. Results showed that ED caregivers presented high depressive mood, which was associated to worse verbal memory performance, especially in the case of women. In addition, all caregivers showed high T levels. Nonetheless, only in the case of women caregivers did T show a curvilinear relationship with verbal memory performance, meaning that the increases of T were associated to the improvement in verbal memory performance, but only up to a certain point, as after such point T continued to increase and memory performance decreased. Thus, chronic stress due to caregiving was associated to disturbances in mood and T levels, which in turn was associated to verbal memory decline. These findings should be taken into account in the implementation of intervention programs for helping ED caregivers cope with caregiving situations and to prevent the risk of a pronounced verbal memory decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Salivary Cortisol Reactivity in Preterm Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care: An Integrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030337 - 18 Mar 2016
Cited by 25
Abstract
Recently, more and more researchers have been using salivary cortisol reactivity to evaluate stress in preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The aim of this integrative literature review was to summarize the evidence of interventions leading to a change in [...] Read more.
Recently, more and more researchers have been using salivary cortisol reactivity to evaluate stress in preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The aim of this integrative literature review was to summarize the evidence of interventions leading to a change in salivary cortisol from the baseline in preterm infants in the NICU. The electronic databases of PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Scopus were searched for relevant studies. The inclusion criteria were studies with preterm infants exposed to an intervention evaluated by salivary cortisol reactivity before discharge from the NICU, which were published in English. In total, 16 studies were included. Eye-screening examination and heel lance provoked an increase in the salivary cortisol level. Music, prone position, and co-bedding among twins decreased the salivary cortisol level. Several studies reported a low rate of successful saliva sampling or did not use control groups. Future studies need to focus on non-painful interventions in order to learn more about salivary cortisol regulation in preterm infants. Moreover, these studies should use study designs comprising homogenous gestational and postnatal age groups, control groups, and reliable analysis methods that are able to detect cortisol in small amounts of saliva. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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