Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stimulating Recovery From Chronic Stress Disorders: Novel Approach Uses Body's 'Fight Or Flight' Mechanism

Date:
January 26, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A Canadian/US research team has reported a novel approach to stimulating recovery from chronic stress disorders. Researchers have detailed a therapeutic model which exploits the natural dynamics of the body's "fight or flight" system. In contrast to conventional time-invariant therapy, the researchers propose a well-directed therapeutic push delivered according to an optimal treatment schedule.

A Canadian/U.S. research team has reported a novel approach to stimulating recovery from chronic stress disorders. Details of the therapeutic model, which exploits the natural dynamics of the body's "fight or flight" system, are published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology. In contrast to conventional time-invariant therapy, the researchers propose a well-directed therapeutic push delivered according to an optimal treatment schedule.

The hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal (HPA) axis constitutes one of the body's major control systems, serving to maintain body homeostasis with hormone feedback regulatory loops. If the HPA axis is driven very far from its natural homeostatic rest point, it may be unable to fully recover the healthy physiologic state. Under such conditions, the HPA axis dysfunction may become chronic. HPA axis dysfunction has been characterized in disorders including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, post- traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer disease.

The research team, consisting of Drs. Amos Ben-Zvi, Suzanne D. Vernon, and Gordon Broderick, used a relatively simple mathematical description of the HPA axis to show how the complex dynamical behavior of this system could accommodate multiple stable resting states; some corresponding to chronic loss of function characterized by low cortisol, a hormone that modulates immune function. A robust treatment strategy was designed to take advantage of the body's existing homeostatic mechanism, using a short-duration intervention to assist the HPA axis in re-asserting homeostasis about a healthy equilibrium. Akin to pulling back a slingshot, temporarily reducing the bioavailability of cortisol pharmacologically causes the HPA axis to overcompensate and launch itself back into a correct regulatory regime.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia estimates that between 1 and 4 million Americans suffer from CFS, and only half have consulted a physician for their illness. The CDC and DePaul University have estimated CFS costs the US economy approximately $30 billion each year in health care and lost productivity.

The researchers propose a theoretical, single intervention therapeutic model that is counter-intuitive and challenges the conventional time-invariant approach to many therapies. Validation of this model will require clinical collaboration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ben-Zvi A, Vernon SD, Broderick G. Model-Based Therapeutic Correction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction. PLoS Comput Biol, 5(1): e1000273 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000273

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Stimulating Recovery From Chronic Stress Disorders: Novel Approach Uses Body's 'Fight Or Flight' Mechanism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122202802.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, January 26). Stimulating Recovery From Chronic Stress Disorders: Novel Approach Uses Body's 'Fight Or Flight' Mechanism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122202802.htm
Public Library of Science. "Stimulating Recovery From Chronic Stress Disorders: Novel Approach Uses Body's 'Fight Or Flight' Mechanism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122202802.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins