Kirstin Aschbacher

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OBJECTIVE Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, though the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved are elusive. A hypercoagulable state before occurrence of coronary thrombosis contributes to atherosclerosis development. We investigated whether PTSD would be associated with increased coagulation(More)
UNLABELLED Cognitive and affective responses to acute stress influence pro-inflammatory cytokine reactivity, and peripheral cytokines (particularly interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)), can act on the brain to promote depressive symptoms. It is unknown whether acute stress-induced changes in positive affect and cognitions (POS) and pro-inflammatory reactivity(More)
OBJECTIVES Previous research among HIV-infected individuals suggests that spiritual well-being is inversely related to psychological distress and rates of disease progression. Use of a mantram, a spiritual word or phrase repeated frequently and silently throughout the day, has been associated with decreased psychological distress and increased spiritual(More)
OBJECTIVE This study tested whether feelings of personal control over one's life circumstances (i.e., personal mastery) would attenuate the relations between stress (i.e., negative life events and caregiving distress) and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor (PAI)-1 antigen, an inhibitor of fibrinolysis implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease. (More)
This study aimed to determine if Alzheimer caregivers have increased allostatic load compared to non-caregivers. Potential psychological moderators (mastery, depression, and role overload) of the relationship between caregiving status and allostatic load were also explored. Eighty-seven caregivers and 43 non-caregivers underwent biological assessment of(More)
Chronic psychological stress appears to accelerate biological aging, and oxidative damage is an important potential mediator of this process. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress promotes oxidative damage are poorly understood. This study investigates the theory that cortisol increases in response to an acutely stressful event have the(More)
BACKGROUND A hypercoagulable stress response might contribute to the increased cardiovascular risk in Alzheimer's caregivers. OBJECTIVES (1) To evaluate whether coping processes affect hemostatic reactivity to acute psychological stress and (2) whether these effects differ substantially between caregivers and noncaregivers. METHODS Sixty elderly(More)
BACKGROUND Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease is associated with increased psychological distress, impaired immunity, and heightened cardiovascular risk. Hyperreactivity of sympathetic and platelet activation responses to acute psychological stress, or the failure to recover quickly from stressful events, may constitute an important pathway(More)
BACKGROUND Being a caregiver for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular illness, particularly for males. This study examined the effects of caregiver gender and severity of the spouse's dementia on sleep, coagulation, and inflammation in the caregiver. METHODS Eighty-one male and female spousal caregivers(More)
A dynamic systems model was used to generate parameters describing a phenotype of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) behavior in a sample of 36 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and/or fibromyalgia (FM) and 36 case-matched healthy controls. Altered neuroendocrine function, particularly in relation to somatic symptoms and poor sleep quality, may(More)