Psychological Stress and Disease
ABSTRACT Despite widespread public belief that psychological stress leads to disease, the biomedical community remains skeptical of this conclusion. In this Commentary, we discuss the plausibility of the belief that stress contributes to a variety of disease processes and summarize the role of stress in 4 major diseases: clinical depression, cardiovascular disease (CVD), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, and cancer.Corresponding Author: Sheldon Cohen, PhD, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (firstname.lastname@example.org).Financial Disclosures: Dr Cohen reported consulting for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc on issues of stress measurement. None of the other authors reported any financial disclosures.Role of the Sponsor: This article is based on a paper commissioned by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Psychosocial Services to Cancer Patients and Families in Community Settings. The Institute of Medicine suggested the topic but played no role in structuring the paper; in the collection, management, and interpretation of the data; or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.Additional Contributions: We thank David Krantz, PhD (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences), Margaret Kemeny, PhD (School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco), Stephen Manuck, PhD, and Karen Matthews, PhD (University of Pittsburgh), and Scott Monroe, PhD (Notre Dame University), for their comments on an earlier draft; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health and members of the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center (HL65111, HL65112) for their intellectual support; and Ellen Conser, MA, Ashleigh Molz, and Wesley Barnhart, BS (Carnegie Mellon University), for assistance in preparing the manuscript. None of these individuals received any extra compensation for their contributions.
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- "According to Dickerson and Kemeny, the best way to increase a subject's cortisol level, which is largely considered as being correlated to psychological stress , , ,  is to make her perform a task that combines public speaking and cognitive challenges. Indeed, tasks that contain uncontrollable traits and/or social evaluation are the most stressful ones. "
Conference Paper: Person-specific behavioural features for automatic stress detection[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This paper introduces behavioural features for automatic stress detection, and a person-specific normalization to enhance the performance of our system. The presented features are all visual cues automatically extracted using video processing and depth data. In order to collect the necessary data, we conducted a lab study for stress elicitation using a time constrained arithmetic mental test. Then, we propose a set of body language features for stress detection. Experimental results using a SVM show that our model can detect stress with high accuracy (77%). Moreover, person specific normalization significantly improves classification results (from 67% to 77%). Also, the performance of each of the presented features is discussed.Faces and Gestures; 05/2015
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- "Our understanding of how stress exposure is linked with 69 adverse health outcomes has improved significantly in recent dec- 70 ades. Exposure to chronic life stress has been shown to be prospec- 71 tively related with morbidity and mortality (Cohen et al., 2007). "
ABSTRACT: Acute stress induces increases in plasma inflammatory mediators, which do not habituate to repeated stress. Inflammation is a risk factor for age-related illnesses, highlighting the need to understand factors controlling inflammation. No studies have examined changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory gene expression in response to repeated acute stress in humans. RNA was isolated from peripheral blood before, 30 and 120 minutes after exposure of n=32 healthy human participants to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) on two days. Gene expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nuclear factor (NF)-κB and IκB was measured repeatedly on both days. We further assessed leukocyte numbers, plasma IL-6, and salivary cortisol. Stress induced IL-6 (F=44.7; p<0.001) and cortisol responses (F=18.6; p<0.001). Cortisol responses habituated (F=5.1, p=0.003), but IL-6 responses did not (n.s.). All genes increased in response to initial stress (IL-6: F=3.8; p=0.029; IL-1β: F=7.1; p=0.008; NF-κB: F=5.1; p=0.009; IκB; F=4.7; p=0.013) and showed habituation to repeated stress (IL-6: t=2.3; p=0.03; IL-1β: t=3.9; p=0.001; NF-κB: t=2.1; p=0.041; IκB: t=3.1; p=0.005). Day 1 responses of IL-1β and IκB were not explained by changes in leukocyte populations, but IL-6 and NF-κB, as well as most day 2 changes were not independent of leukocyte populations. Stress response and habituation of pro- and anti-inflammatory gene expression as found here might indicate that even on an intracellular level, inflammatory responses to acute stress are adaptive in that they respond to initial, but habituate to repeated, similar stress. Future studies will need to test whether non-habituation is predictive of disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Brain Behavior and Immunity 02/2015; 46. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.02.006 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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- "The primary aim of this randomized controlled trial was therefore to determine the effects of Tai Chi on depression, as well as anxiety and stress in centrally obese adults with depression symptoms. In addition to depression symptoms, we included anxiety and stress as primary outcomes because the three are often coexistent and all of them are contributing factors in CVD  . Secondary aims were to examine the effects on leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic syndrome. "
ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body movement therapy, on severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in centrally obese people with elevated depression symptoms. In total, 213 participants were randomized to a 24-week Tai Chi intervention program or a wait-list control group. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks. Outcomes were severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic symptom. There were statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the Tai Chi group in depression (mean difference = −5.6 units, í µí± < 0.001), anxiety (−2.3 units, í µí± < 0.01), and stress (−3.6 units, í µí± < 0.001) symptom scores and leg strength (1.1 units, í µí± < 0.001) at 12 weeks. These changes were further improved or maintained in the Tai Chi group relative to the control group during the second 12 weeks of follow-up. Tai Chi appears to be beneficial for reducing severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and leg strength in centrally obese people with depression symptoms. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the findings. This trial is registered with ACTRN12613000010796.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2015; Article ID 879712(http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/879712):8. DOI:10.1155/2015/879712 · 1.88 Impact Factor