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The salivary alpha amylase over cortisol ratio as a marker to assess dysregulations of the stress systems.
Physiol Behav. 2012 Apr 12; 106(1):65-72.PB

Abstract

Different factors have been associated with changes in the regulation of the two major stress response systems of the human body, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Changes in these systems have been associated with various (psycho)pathologies across adulthood, and are thus frequently assessed within the context of allostatic load. Early Life Adversity (ELA) has been identified as one such factor. Individuals with histories of ELA show evidence of elevated basal and reactive salivary alpha amylase (sAA) levels (a marker of SNS activity), blunted cortisol levels (a marker of HPA axis activity), and an asymmetrical relationship between the two variables. However, variable methods used in the past to measure each variable, and the relationship between the two systems, prevent us from drawing firm conclusions. This preliminary study investigated whether the ratio of reactive sAA over reactive cortisol would be more informative to investigate the relationship between the two stress systems than the ratio of cortisol over sAA, or either marker alone, and whether there is a systematic link between this marker and subjective indexes of chronic stress and depression. We studied this in a total of 37 subjects (n=20 with signs of early life adversity and n=17 without) exposed to the Trier social stress test. Using a specific formula to determine the ratio of sAA over cortisol, we found a systematically stronger positive relationship with indexes of chronic stress and depression when compared to cortisol over sAA, or either marker alone. Our findings suggest that the ratio of sAA over cortisol might be a better marker of stress systems dysregulation than the ratio of cortisol over sAA, sAA or cortisol alone. The usefulness of this marker for other chronic stress states as found in allostatic load is discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22019784

Citation

Ali, Nida, and Jens C. Pruessner. "The Salivary Alpha Amylase Over Cortisol Ratio as a Marker to Assess Dysregulations of the Stress Systems." Physiology & Behavior, vol. 106, no. 1, 2012, pp. 65-72.
Ali N, Pruessner JC. The salivary alpha amylase over cortisol ratio as a marker to assess dysregulations of the stress systems. Physiol Behav. 2012;106(1):65-72.
Ali, N., & Pruessner, J. C. (2012). The salivary alpha amylase over cortisol ratio as a marker to assess dysregulations of the stress systems. Physiology & Behavior, 106(1), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.10.003
Ali N, Pruessner JC. The Salivary Alpha Amylase Over Cortisol Ratio as a Marker to Assess Dysregulations of the Stress Systems. Physiol Behav. 2012 Apr 12;106(1):65-72. PubMed PMID: 22019784.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The salivary alpha amylase over cortisol ratio as a marker to assess dysregulations of the stress systems. AU - Ali,Nida, AU - Pruessner,Jens C, Y1 - 2011/10/12/ PY - 2011/08/05/received PY - 2011/10/01/revised PY - 2011/10/05/accepted PY - 2011/10/25/entrez PY - 2011/10/25/pubmed PY - 2012/6/13/medline SP - 65 EP - 72 JF - Physiology & behavior JO - Physiol Behav VL - 106 IS - 1 N2 - Different factors have been associated with changes in the regulation of the two major stress response systems of the human body, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Changes in these systems have been associated with various (psycho)pathologies across adulthood, and are thus frequently assessed within the context of allostatic load. Early Life Adversity (ELA) has been identified as one such factor. Individuals with histories of ELA show evidence of elevated basal and reactive salivary alpha amylase (sAA) levels (a marker of SNS activity), blunted cortisol levels (a marker of HPA axis activity), and an asymmetrical relationship between the two variables. However, variable methods used in the past to measure each variable, and the relationship between the two systems, prevent us from drawing firm conclusions. This preliminary study investigated whether the ratio of reactive sAA over reactive cortisol would be more informative to investigate the relationship between the two stress systems than the ratio of cortisol over sAA, or either marker alone, and whether there is a systematic link between this marker and subjective indexes of chronic stress and depression. We studied this in a total of 37 subjects (n=20 with signs of early life adversity and n=17 without) exposed to the Trier social stress test. Using a specific formula to determine the ratio of sAA over cortisol, we found a systematically stronger positive relationship with indexes of chronic stress and depression when compared to cortisol over sAA, or either marker alone. Our findings suggest that the ratio of sAA over cortisol might be a better marker of stress systems dysregulation than the ratio of cortisol over sAA, sAA or cortisol alone. The usefulness of this marker for other chronic stress states as found in allostatic load is discussed. SN - 1873-507X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22019784/The_salivary_alpha_amylase_over_cortisol_ratio_as_a_marker_to_assess_dysregulations_of_the_stress_systems_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0031-9384(11)00480-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -