Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. For example, psychological stress is associated with greater risk for depression, heart disease and infectious diseases. But, until now, it has not been clear exactly how stress influences disease and health. A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body's ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease. "Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control, " said Cohen, the Robert E.
Based on their clinical experience and observations, a team of Johns Hopkins physicians and psychologists say that more than one-third of the patients admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital's inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit for treatment of intractable seizures have been discovered to have stress-triggered symptoms rather than a true seizure disorder. These patients - returning war veterans, mothers in child-custody battles and over-extended professionals alike - have what doctors are calling psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). Their display of uncontrollable movements, far-off stares or convulsions, Johns Hopkins researchers say, are not the result of the abnormal electrical discharges in the brain that characterize epilepsy, but instead appear to be stress-related behaviors that mimic and are misdiagnosed as the neurological disorder.
A study, published online in the journal Seizure, reveals that over 33% of patients believed to have intractable seizures were actually presenting stress-triggered symptoms. A team of Johns Hopkins physicians and psychologists found that more than one-third of patients admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital's inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit had symptoms caused by stress, rather than a true seizure disorder. According to the researchers, these patients, which included mothers in child-custody battles and returning war veterans, as well as over-extended professionals alike, have psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). Signs of the condition include: Convulsions uncontrollable movements far-off stares The researchers note that signs of PNES appear to be stress-related behaviors that mimic and are misdiagnosed as epilepsy, but are not due to abnormal electrical discharges in the brain that characterize the neurological disorder.
Coronary artery disease continues to be a major cause of death in the U.S., killing hundreds of thousands of people per year. However, this disease burden isn't evenly divided between the sexes; significantly more men than women are diagnosed with coronary artery disease each year. The reasons behind this difference aren't well defined. Though some studies have shown that men's hearts become more constricted than women's during exercise, letting less blood flow through, women are more likely than men to have symptoms of heart trouble after emotional upsets. Searching for the reasons behind these disparities, Charity L. Sauder, Alison E. Thompson, Terrell Myers, and Chester A. Ray, all of Penn State College of Medicine, investigated the effects of mental stress on blood flow through the heart.
Eating disorders can be triggered by lack of support following traumatic events such as bereavement, relationship problems, abuse and sexual assault, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Even changing school or moving home can prove too much for some young people and lead to conditions such as anorexia or bulimia. Researchers from the University of Minnesota, USA, spoke to 26 women and one man aged from 17 to 64 receiving treatment from a specialist outpatient clinic. They had suffered from eating disorders for an average of 20 years. "The aim of our study was to find out if there was any link between transitional events in family life and the onset of eating disorders" says lead author Dr Jerica M Berge, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University.