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)
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)
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 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 In preclinical studies, the combination of chronic stress and a high sugar/fat diet is a more potent driver of visceral adiposity than diet alone, a process mediated by peripheral neuropeptide Y (NPY). METHODS In a human model of chronic stress, we investigated whether the synergistic combination of highly palatable foods (HPF; high sugar/fat)(More)
Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with overall health decline and impaired cardiovascular functioning. This morbidity may be related to the effects of caregiving stress and impaired coping on beta(2)-adrenergic receptors, which mediate hemodynamic and vascular responses and are important for peripheral blood mononuclear cell(More)