Biomarkers of stress and disease

Nida Ali, Hannah Tschenett, Urs Markus Nater

In recent years, research in mental health has become increasingly focused on understanding the link between stress and disease. In this context, three bodily systems (autonomic nervous system (ANS), hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, immune system) play a key role. These systems closely interact and influence each other via different pathways, and they are therefore intricately involved in the pathogenesis of stress-related disease states. This entry introduces each of these systems involved in the stress experience and their commonly used biomarkers. Research investigating the functional integrity of these systems, as reflected in the biomarkers responses, in chronic stress, and associated physical and mental health conditions will be summarized. This article will also highlight the potential utility of these biomarkers as diagnostic markers of stress-related pathologies, as well as complementary outcome measures following targeted stress reduction and behavioral interventions. Finally, it will highlight important methodological considerations for future studies in this field, and the need to adopt a multidimensional approach toward physiological stress measurement in order to develop a better understanding of mental health conditions.

Forschungsplattform The Stress of Life - Processes and Mechanisms underlying Everyday Life Stress, Institut für Klinische und Gesundheitspsychologie
Vol. 1
ÖFOS 2012
501010 Klinische Psychologie
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