Navigation Links
New method: Research team analyzes stress biology in babies
Date:8/28/2012

After waking up, the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in saliva rises considerably; this is true not only for grown-ups but for babies as well. A research team from the Ruhr-Universitt Bochum and from Basel has reported this finding in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. "This gives us a new, non-invasive and uncomplicated possibility to already research the activity of the stress system during infancy," Prof. Dr. Gunther Meinlschmidt, of the Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the LWL University Hospital of the RUB, said. The information not only open doors to the pursuit of as-yet unresolved research inquiries, but could also be used in the future to diagnose illnesses in the hormone-producing organs, such as the adrenal gland, of infants.

Testing stress hormones: easy with grown-ups, hard with babies

Scientists usually test the stress hormones of grown-ups by placing test subjects in an experiment under stress-inducing conditions. Since a similar practice is, for ethical reasons, unthinkable to use with babies, it is rather more difficult to find out how well-developed their stress systems are. The German-Swiss research team circumvented this problem by observing a naturally occurring "stress situation" waking up. The cortisol-concentration in grown-ups rises after they wake up, presumably to prepare the body for the requirements of the day. At what age this cortisol-reaction develops has long been unclear.

Cortisol levels rise in babies upon waking up

Data from 64 newborns and infants between the ages of three weeks and six months were used in the study. On two days the infants' parents had their children suck on a small cotton swab at home, once right after waking up and once half an hour later. Through this saliva, the scientists determined the cortisol-concentration. The cortisol amount rose considerably after the infants awoke in 63 % of cases. Neither the hour that the child woke up nor breastfeeding after waking played any role in these findings.

The shorter the pregnancy, the less the cortisol-level rises

Instead the length of the pregnancy had an effect. The earlier the children were born, the less their cortisol-levels rose after they woke up. "The stress hormone system may be less mature in babies who were born after a shorter pregnancy, which could have negative consequences," assistant professor Marion Tegethoff, of the Faculty for Psychology at the University of Basel, said. Since cortisol can inhibit the immune system, the lack of cortisol-level rises could lead to excess immunological responses, similarly to what occurs with allergies.

Approaching new research questions through saliva tests

Stress increases the risk for mental disorders and bodily illnesses. There is now a new method available to investigate the stress systems easily in babies. Prof. Meinlschmidt, head of the Research Department of Psychobiology, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy at the LWL University Hospital in Bochum explains future research questions: "In some rodents the hormonal stress response in the first weeks of life is, for a specific timeframe, close to shut down perhaps to protect organs that are developing during this time. It is still unknown if there is a comparable phase in humans, since it has long been impossible, because of ethical reasons, to repeatedly assess the hormonal stress reaction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Prof. Dr. Gunther Meinlschmidt
gunther.meinlschmidt@rub.de
49-234-507-73173
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Research reveals first evidence of hunting by prehistoric Ohioans
3. Diabetes Research Institute develops oxygen-generating biomaterial
4. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
5. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
6. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
7. U of Alberta researcher steps closer to understand autoimmune diseases
8. Research on flavanols and procyanidins provides new insights into how these phytonutrients may positively impact human health
9. A project to research biological and chemical aspects of microalgae to fuel approach
10. Scripps Research discoveries lead to newly approved drug for infant respiratory distress syndrome
11. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 ... Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other ... provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the ... this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in ... acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, ... tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The ... of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining ...
Breaking Biology Technology: