Kliniken & Institute … Kliniken Center for Psychosocial… Institute for Medical… Research Psychobiology of stress…

Psychobiology of stress and stress management

Reaktivität von Speichelcortisol auf psychosoziale Interventionen in der Palliativmedizin

Ergebnisse psychoneuroimmunologischer Forschung weisen auf die Bedeutung von neuroendokrinen Stresssystemen als Bindeglied zwischen psychosozialen Belastungen, Immunreaktion und Verlauf von malignen Erkrankungen hin. Gerade für terminale Krankheitsstadien ist eine umfassende palliative Versorgung körperlicher, emotionaler und spiritueller Bedürfnisse indiziert. Dennoch liegen für den palliativmedizinischen Kontext nur sehr bedingt wirksame psychosoziale Interventionen und entsprechende Studien vor.

Ob sich bereits validierte Biomarker von Stress auf Patientengruppen mit weit fortgeschrittenen Krebserkrankungen übertragen lassen, ist bisher nicht geklärt. Ziel unserer Studie ist es daher, die Reaktivität von Speichelcortisol auf eine Achtsamkeitsübung zu überprüfen und so zu einer Einschätzung der Machbarkeit, Validität und Eignung des Stressmarkers als Erfolgsmaß für künftige Therapiestudien zu gelangen.

Psychobiological evaluation of mindfulness-based stress management

In two courses at the institute, the influence of mindfulness-based stress management on health is investigated. In the study, subjects are examined by means of EMA (ecological momentary assessment) and repeated blood drawings for longitudinal changes in their perception of stress, their state-mindfulness, and changes in biological parameters (epigenetic, endocrinological and enzymatic parameters). The results of this study allow us to conclude how mindfulness-based interventions affect endocrine, autonomic and self-reported stress regulation in healthy subjects - as measured by diurnal profiles of stress, cortisol, and alpha-amylase - and what role epigenetic processes, that affect the serotonin and the immune system (e.g., SLC6A4, IL6, IL1 etc.), play in these changes. Furthermore, we are able to investigate the effects of the intervention on the epigenetic markers which are assessed in our study.

Running: 2015–2016
Funding: Ministry  of Science,Researchand Art of Baden-Württemberg
Head of project: Beate Ditzen
Contact persons: Martin Stoffel und Corina Aguilar-Raab
 

“The green area” – resource-oriented stress management

A stress management training that focuses on resource orientation and on fostering the social interaction among participants is examined in groups of doctoral students and employees at a local company with regard to its health-promoting effects. Ecological momentary assessments are used to measure everyday well-being, stress and parameters which indicate the activity of psychobiological stress systems (i.e., the HPA- and the SAM-axis, as measured via diurnal profiles of cortisol and alpha-amylase). Furthermore, methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) as well as of the FKBP5 gene are assessed before and after the intervention. The results of this study allow conclusions to be drawn about the health-promoting effectiveness of such an intervention and the degree to which the secretion of cortisol and alpha-amylase is modified by epigenetic processes. Furthermore, we are able to investigate the effects of the intervention on the epigenetic markers which are assessed in our study.

Running: 2015–2016
Funding: Inhouse
Principal Investigator: Beate Ditzen
Contact person: Martin Stoffel