Recent quotes:

Risk of Burnout Can Be Estimated by Analyzing Saliva Samples - Neuroscience News

According to the researchers, compared with the previously used early-morning samples – taken three times after waking at fifteen-minute intervals – the midday and evening saliva samples also provided a much better and more reliable result: “Our current data indicate that people at risk of burnout can be identified from a single saliva sample with almost 100% accuracy, whereas the multiple early-morning sampling involved more laborious methods and produced a much larger range of variation.” Reliable analysis is now possible just four hours after providing the sample and this method even produced better results than analysing stress-related blood parameters. “We will use these results to further reinforce our efforts to prevent stress-related illnesses in collaboration with the stress clinic of the KFA Health and Prevention Center.

How social isolation transforms the brain: A particular neural chemical is overproduced during long-term social isolation, causing increased aggression and fear -- ScienceDaily

Confirming and extending previous observations, the researchers showed that prolonged social isolation leads to a broad array of behavioral changes in mice. These include increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar mice, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli. For example, when encountering a threatening stimulus, mice that have been socially isolated remain frozen in place long after the threat has passed, whereas normal mice stop freezing soon after the threat is removed. These effects are seen when mice are subjected to two weeks of social isolation, but not to short-term social isolation -- 24 hours -- suggesting that the observed changes in aggression and fear responses require chronic isolation.

Stress helps unlearn fear: New findings on extinction learning may prove useful for therapies -- ScienceDaily

"Pharmacological studies have demonstrated that the treatment of anxiety disorders can be improved if the stress hormone cortisol is administered to the patients," says Oliver Wolf. "Our study has produced evidence for an underlying mechanism." Under the umbrella of the Collaborative Research Centre 1280, several research groups from Bochum are planning to investigate if an exposure to stress prior to exposure therapy may improve its efficacy.

Stress and hippocampus

Research in the neurological literature for years has shown changes in the hippocampus when one has experienced long stress – so a release of hormones such as cortisol actually causes damage to the hippocampus. But as it turns out, it may be that damage to the hippocampus also regulates one’s stress response – and that could contribute to the onset of depression. Again, it’s another one of these vicious cycles. We have a list of 100 potentially stressful events – divorce, moving house, losing loved ones, etc. We found that our group of depressed individuals had not experienced more stressful events in their lives – but they had experienced them as more stressful.

Recovery Is All in Your Head | Outside Online

“Interfering with the natural stress response, particularly by prolonging it, is maladaptive,” says Kiely. “The brain and body will only dedicate resources to rebuilding if it doesn’t feel an emergency is around the corner.” In other words, rushing to work and cranking on a deadline report after a challenging morning workout may seriously mitigate positive physical gains.