Clemens Kirschbaum

Clemens Kirschbaum
Technische Universität Dresden | TUD · Department of Psychology

Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.)

About

474
Publications
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Publications

Publications (474)
Article
Full-text available
Patients suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD) fear social interaction and evaluation, which severely undermines their everyday life. There is evidence of increased prosocial behavior after acute social stress exposure in healthy individuals, which may be interpreted as stress-regulating “ tend-and-befriend” behavior. In a randomized control...
Article
Full-text available
Stress-related exhaustion symptoms have a high prevalence which is only likely to increase further in the near future. Understanding the physiological underpinnings of exhaustion has important implications for accurate diagnosis and the development of effective prevention and intervention programs. Given its integrative role in stress-regulation, t...
Poster
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This is a Poster on a Pre-post evaluation of a psychological help program during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce depressive, anxiety and somatic symptoms.
Article
Full-text available
Background The study aimed to investigate the link between burnout symptoms and prosocial behaviour, as well as the role of acute stress and vagally-mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) on this association. Methods Seventy men were randomly assigned to either the stress or the control condition of the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups (TSST-G...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is clear evidence that tic disorders (TDs) are associated with psychosocial stress as well as emotional and behavioral problems. Studies have shown that individuals with TDs have higher acute physiological stress responses to external, single stressors (as reflected by saliva cortisol). The aim of the present study was to examine a...
Article
Full-text available
Pathophysiological landmarks of depressive disorders are chronic low-grade inflammation and elevated glucocorticoid output. Both can potentially interfere with cytoskeleton organization, cell membrane bending and cell function, suggesting altered cell morpho-rheological properties like cell deformability and other cell mechanical features in depres...
Article
Full-text available
Antenatal synthetic glucocorticoid (sGC) treatment is a potent modifier of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this context, epigenetic modifications are discussed as potential regulators explaining how prenatal exposure to GCs might translate into persistent changes of HPA axis “functioning”. The purpose of this study was to investig...
Article
Full-text available
Although the link between androgens and depression is well established in adults, the effects of cofactors on this association are less clearly understood, particularly in youth. Epidemiological cohort study of adolescents in Dresden, Germany. Analyses comprised data of 985 individuals assessed at baseline and of 512 individuals at 1-year follow-up...
Article
Not only males but also females compete over reproduction. In a population of free-living house mice (Mus musculus domesticus), we analyzed how (metabolic) costs of aggressive interactions (reflected in fresh wounds and long-term corticosterone concentrations in hair) are predicted by individual reproductive physiology and reproductive success in m...
Article
Aim Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate higher rates of metabolic syndrome (MetS) than the general population. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) reflect longer-term cortisol secretion and can provide additional insights into the role of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in schizophrenia and co-occurring MetS. Methods In a case–...
Article
Glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers can influence cognitive function. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) reflect longer-term hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function and combined with immune markers can provide insight into how HPA-axis and immune pathways interact to influence cognition. We examined the association between HCC and h...
Article
Acute psychosocial stress has been shown to impair memory and cognitive control in young adults. So far, only very little empirical research is available concerning possible adult age differences in acute stress effects on cognition in general and cognitive control in particular. Accordingly, the present study set out to test these effects in a con...
Article
Full-text available
The abilities to monitor one’s actions and novel information in the environment are crucial for behavioural and cognitive control. This study investigated the development of error and novelty monitoring and their electrophysiological correlates by using a combined flanker with novelty-oddball task in children (7–12 years) and adolescents (14–18 yea...
Article
Full-text available
Background While cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the gold-standard psychological treatment for major depression (MD), non-response and lacking stability of treatment gains are persistent issues. Potential factors influencing treatment outcome might be lifetime trauma history and possibly associated primarily prefrontal-cortex- and hippocampus...
Article
Introduction Many adults, adolescents and children are suffering from persistent stress symptoms in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to characterize long-term trajectories of mental health and to reduce the transition to manifest mental disorders by means of a stepped care program for indicated prevention. Methods and analysis Us...
Article
Background Although the link between androgens and depression is well established in adults, the effect of cofactors on this association are less clearly understood in youth. Methods Epidemiological cohort study of adolescents in Dresden, Germany. Analyses comprised data of 985 individuals assessed at baseline (512 individuals at follow-up). We in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is increasingly being recognized as key regulatory system coupled with the glucocorticoid system implicated in the pathophysiology of stress-related mental disorders. However, prior studies examining the ECS in depression or burnout have been inconclusive, of small sample size or of cross-sectional natur...
Article
Hair analysis of endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines presents a promising methodological advancement for the retrospective assessment of long-term cumulative endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines secretion over extended periods of time. A main assumption of this method application that hair endocannabinoid and N-acylethanolamine concentrati...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To investigate the effect of regular contemplative mental training on endocrine and psychological indices of long-term stress. Methods: An open-label efficacy trial that comprised three distinct 3-month modules targeting attention and interoception, socio-affective or socio-cognitive abilities through dyadic exercises and secularised...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Pathophysiological landmarks of depressive disorders are chronic low-grade inflammation and elevated glucocorticoid output. Both can potentially interfere with cell membrane bending and cell function, suggesting altered cell morpho-rheological properties like cell deformability and other cell mechanical features in depressive disorders....
Article
Accidents caused by human errors illustrate the fragility of cognitive processing and its coordination by executive functions against stress. To better understand how core executive functions change over time, influence each other, and are affected by chronic stress exposure, a prospective cohort study was conducted from 2016 to 2019. Five hundred...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Differences in moral judgements are associated with various factors, including biological parameters. Previous studies have—albeit inconsistently—reported a stronger tendency towards utilitarian judgements in men. Utilitarian judgements are situation-dependent, outcome-based, and favor the ‘greater good’. In contrast, deontological judgements are b...
Article
Psychological treatments of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are associated with non-response rates of up to 50%. This fact highlights the need to identify characteristics of poorer treatment outcome. Among others, previous evidence focused on the role of dysfunctional cortisol secretion which has been related to the development, maintenance an...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Glucocorticoid (GC) administration prior to exposure-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has emerged as a promising approach to facilitate treatment outcome in anxiety disorders. Further components relevant for improved CBT efficacy include raised endogenous GCs and reductions in information-processing biases to threat. Aims: T...
Article
For poor sleep quality (SQ) as well as major depressive disorder (MDD) and burnout, a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been identified. Although poor SQ is often reported as an early symptom of MDD or burnout, it is not clear whether HPA axis-related hormones can influence the association between SQ and MDD or burn...
Article
Objectives Most of the observed associations of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) with cortisol concentrations came from clinical and adult study samples, with inconsistent findings, partly due to method variance. We examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between GA...
Article
Aside from cultural, psychological, or situational factors, differences in moral judgements might also be influenced by biological variables. Since previous studies have reported stronger utilitarian tendencies in men, the relationship between testosterone and moral judgments has gained interest. Utilitarian judgements focus on the consequences of...
Preprint
Full-text available
While there are many different methods for peak detection, no automatic methods for marking peak boundaries to calculate area under the curve (AUC) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) estimation exist. An algorithm for the automation of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) mass chromatogram quantification was developed and validate...
Article
Background The endocannabinoid system has been suggested to modulate energy metabolism and stress response and could be an important factor in the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa (AN). In the context of AN, excessive physical activity may influence endocannabinoid concentrations. The objective of this study was to investigate hair endocannabino...
Article
In order to understand the psychopathology of the social anxiety disorder (SAD) at the neuroendocrine level, standardized experimental studies on endocrine and physiological markers are necessary, especially since empirical data are still ambiguous. Hence, differences in both, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the endocrine stress responses (A...
Article
Full-text available
Background The development and maintenance of anxiety disorders is not fully understood. There is consensus in the literature that in addition to genetic factors, social, psychological and neurobiological factors are of crucial importance. The present exploratory study investigates the influence of the endocannabinoids (EC) and related N-acylethano...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective This study had the objective to investigate the effect of regular contemplative mental training on endocrine indices of long-term stress. Methods An open-label efficacy trial comprising three distinct 3-month modules targeting attention and interoception, socio-affective or socio-cognitive abilities through dyadic exercises and secularis...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is growing evidence that humans use olfactory chemosensory signals for social communication, but their role in affective associative learning is largely unknown. To examine this, women implicitly learned face-odor associations by pairing different neutral male faces with either a male chemosignal presumably involved in human mating behavior (...
Preprint
Since previous studies have reported stronger utilitarian tendencies in men, the relationship between testosterone and moral judgments has gained interest. Utilitarian judgements focus on the consequences of actions in terms of a cost-benefit analysis while deontological judgements are based on rules that are independent of an action’s outcome or o...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives. Burnout is a stress-related, psychological syndrome due to high levels of job stressors. It has been found to be related to impairments of well-being, health, and job outcomes. Alterations of glucocorticoid secretion might be a mechanism explaining the linkage between burnout and reduced psychophysical functioning. Regarding hair cortis...
Article
Objectives: The association between depressive symptomatology and endogenous testosterone levels is inconclusive. Large inter- and intra-individual testosterone differences suggest point measurements from saliva or serum to be inadequate to map basal testosterone concentrations highlighting the potential for long-term integrated testosterone levels...
Article
Full-text available
Prior studies identified DNA methylation (DNAM) changes in a regulatory region within the FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5) gene as a crucial mediator of long-term negative health outcomes following early adversity. A critical mechanism underlying this link, in turn, has been suggested to be epigenetically induced dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pi...
Article
Full-text available
Although substantial evidence suggests altered executive functioning and autobiographical memory in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the clinical significance of these findings remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on different aspects of cognitive functioning (working memory, interference sus...
Article
Full-text available
Occupational stress management intervention programs are known to be effective in preventing stress-related health burden. Two essential mechanisms underlie this effect: (i) a reduction in perceived stress (e.g., via relaxation-oriented techniques), and (ii) an improvement in coping skills (e.g., via cognitive-behavioral interventions). While relax...
Article
Background Parkinson’s disease (PD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) share certain pathophysiological pathways, including hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction. Hair glucocorticoid (GC) levels reflect longer-term HPA-axis function and can provide additional insights into the role of a dysregulated HPA-axis in PD and co-occurring cardio...
Article
The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the dynamic regulation of the stress response, fear memory formation, and inflammatory processes. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) are primarily quantified from serum or cerebrospinal fluid representing acute measures, while no validated method for the quantification of long-te...
Article
Altered activity of the endocannabinoid (EC) system has been linked to dysregulated stress-reactivity and the development of trauma-related psychopathology. The EC system, with its main components anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) and other N-acyl-ethanolamides, is considered to be a buffer system that protects against the negative e...
Article
Background Functional connectivity is a fundamental principle of brain organization. Cortisol, the end product of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, is a potent modulator of brain functions. Previous studies investigating the association between cortisol levels on brain connectivity are, however, limited to specifica priori defined brain netw...
Article
It is debated as to whether major depressive disorder (MDD) and the burnout syndrome represent different aspects of the same syndrome or whether they reflect separate entities. A dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis has been related to both conditions separately. Dissecting the pathophysiology of the conditions and describing di...
Article
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) evidence increased rates of metabolic syndrome (MetS), and both PTSD and MetS are associated with alterations in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function. Few investigations have examined the possible role of HPA-axis dysfunction in the co-occurrence of PTSD and MetS. In a case-contro...
Article
Dysfunction in the circadian system has been linked to emotion regulation and mood disorders with genetic variation in clock genes as likely contributors. Here, we focused on endophenotypes of affective processing and investigated in two independent samples of healthy individuals (n1=99, n2=108) whether genotypes of a functional single nucleotide p...
Article
Sleep quality (SQ) is considered to be a critical variable in major depressive syndrome (MD) as well as in burnout syndrome (B). Thus far, no study examined the differential influence of these syndromes on SQ. MD and B have been assessed in 4,415 participants at baseline and in 1,396 participants at follow-up based on the Patient Health Questionnai...
Article
Full-text available
The role of cortisol as a premorbid vulnerability factor for trauma sequelae remains unclear. Furthermore, the onset of long-term endocrine changes in response to first time trauma as a function of later psychopathology is not clarified yet. Thus the predictive value of pre- and post-traumatic hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) for psychological tr...
Chapter
Für die Beurteilung von Ursachen, Entstehung und Verlauf psychischer Störungen ist ein Gesamtverständnis der biopsychosozialen Zusammenhänge heute unverzichtbar. Eine Einbeziehung biologischer Mechanismen hat unmittelbare Implikationen für die Entwicklung neuer Ansätze der Diagnostik, Prävention und Therapie. So helfen uns beispielsweise Erkenntnis...
Article
Background: Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) are increasingly used as a biomarker of stress, however limited research exists regarding the relationship between HCC and protective factors, such as resilience. Additionally, studies measuring HCC need to account for possible confounders, and these factors have not been examined in sufficiently dive...
Article
Full-text available
Endocrine data from wild populations provide important insight into social systems. However, obtaining samples for traditional methods involves capture and restraint of animals, and/or pain, which can influence the animal’s stress level, and thereby undesirable release of hormones. Here, we measured corticosterone, testosterone and progesterone in...
Article
Context: Antenatal synthetic glucocorticoid (sGC) treatment constitutes a potent programming factor of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Previous findings from our group revealed long-term changes in cortisol stress reactivity following antenatal sGC therapy. However, the few prior studies exclusively relied on spot measurements of ph...
Article
Objective: Previous research indicates a link between burnout symptoms and reduced vagally-mediated heart rate variability (HRV); however, the directionality of this relationship, is still largely unknown. The objective of the present study was to examine the longitudinal relationship between HRV and burnout symptoms over one year, with a special...
Article
Full-text available
Background: It is well known from cross-sectional studies that individual coping strategies significantly influence the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Equally, undisputed is the role of biological processes, e.g. of the so-called ‘stress hormone’ cortisol for the trajectory of PTSD. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA), the...
Article
Chronic stress experienced at work is considered a major health challenge for modern societies. In fact there is ample evidence that deleterious work environments, based on high efforts in relation to few rewards, substantially augment the risk for a number of highly prevalent diseases (e.g. ischemic heart disease, stroke). One potential pathway me...
Article
Thyroid hormones (THs) play a key role within the endocrine system. Incorporated biomarkers in hair can reflect endogenous excretion patterns over several months. We present an online solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (online SPE-LC-MS/MS) method for quantification of THs in human hair and test it in the volunteers suff...
Article
Depressive and anxiety disorders substantially contribute to the global burden of disease, particularly in poor countries. Higher prevalence rates for both disorders among women indicate sex hormones may be integrated in the pathophysiology of these disorders. The Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services study surveyed a random sample of 4160 households...