Brain's Stress Axis: A Possible Predictor for the Quality of Mental Performance During Chronic Stress
Final rept. 1 Sep 94-31 Aug 97
LOUISIANA STATE UNIV MEDICAL CENTER NEWORLEANS
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Briefly, through the research outlined in this proposal we had hoped to achieve following specific goal. To develop a biochemical measure that will predict the quality of mental performance under conditions of acute and chronic stress. To identify such a predictor, we will examine the relationship between the secretion of adrenal as well as adrenal modulated hormones dehydroepiandrosterone, corticosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone and allopregnenolone and a variety of behavioral tests for emotionality and anxiety, and cognition under normal and stress conditions. During the course of this study, however, we observed that under stress free conditions, rats exhibit a wide animal to animal variation in two of the behavioral measures, the Porsolts test for despair and the Elevated plus maze test for anxiety, that we had proposed to use. Therefore, we have decided to characterize the nature of this variation first and then look for biochemical predictors in different subsets of animals. Of all the adrenal hormones considered, DHE appeared to be very promising. Therefore, the rest of the studies were largely focussed on DHEA and its role in stress anxiety.
- Medicine and Medical Research