Dirk H. Hellhammer

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This paper describes a protocol for induction of moderate psychological stress in a laboratory setting and evaluates its effects on physiological responses. The 'Trier Social Stress Test' (TSST) mainly consists of an anticipation period (10 min) and a test period (10 min) in which the subjects have to deliver a free speech and perform mental arithmetic in(More)
Study protocols in endocrinological research and the neurosciences often employ repeated measurements over time to record changes in physiological or endocrinological variables. While it is desirable to acquire repeated measurements for finding individual and group differences with regard to response time and duration, the amount of data gathered often(More)
OBJECTIVE Results from animal and human studies suggest that disregulations of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are involved in several behavioral, circulatory, endocrine, and immune disorders with clear-cut gender differences in disease prevalence. The aim of the present study was to investigate sex-specific HPA response patterns with a focus(More)
In three independent studies, free cortisol levels after morning awakening were repeatedly measured in children, adults and elderly subjects (total n=152). Cortisol was assessed by sampling saliva at 10 or 15 minute intervals for 30-60 minutes, beginning at the time of awakening for two days (Study 1 and 2) or one (Study 3) day, respectively. In all three(More)
Representing a challenge for current concepts of stress research, a number of studies have now provided convincing evidence that the adrenal gland is hypoactive in some stress-related states. The phenomenon of hypocortisolism has mainly been described for patients, who experienced a traumatic event and subsequently developed post-traumatic stress disorder(More)
The measurement of cortisol in saliva provides the basic scientist as well as the clinician with a reliable tool for investigations of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Since saliva samples can be obtained stress-free and independent from medically trained personnel this method may be well suited for use in psychobiological studies. This(More)
The assessment of cortisol in saliva has proven a valid and reliable reflection of the respective unbound hormone in blood. To date, assessment of cortisol in saliva is a widely accepted and frequently employed method in psychoneuroendocrinology. Due to several advantages over blood cortisol analyses (e.g., stress-free sampling, laboratory independence,(More)
Two studies investigated the association between cortisol levels and memory performance in healthy adults. In a first study, 13 subjects were exposed to a brief psychosocial laboratory stress ("Trier Social Stress Test") with a subsequent test of declarative memory performance. Results indicated a significant negative relationship between stress-induced(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated that the free cortisol response to awakening can serve as a useful index of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity. This endocrine marker is rather consistent, shows good intraindividual stability across time and appears to be able to uncover subtle changes in HPA regulation. The present twin study investigated(More)
OBJECTIVE Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by a hyperactivity of the humoral immune system with an onset in infancy or early childhood. Although most of the research has focused on the pathophysiological role of the immune system in AD, the impact of endocrine signals in the pathology of AD has received only little(More)