The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 18 May

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This is part two of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part three can be found here.

Glutamate, GABA & Neurosteroid Activation

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood [1]. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5% [2].

Glutamate is required for synaptic transmission and plasticity, and learning and memory. However, abnormal function of the glutamatergic system can lead to neurotoxicity, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders [3].

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The Role of Estrogen & the Microbiome in Preserving Bone Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Saturday, 12 May

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I remember my great-grandmother’s hands. So capable, big and warm, covered in freckles, ready to comfort, unbending the clawed rigidity to softly wipe my tears.

I remember her powerful, beautiful mind, endless with patience, tirelessly reading my favorite story over and over from a tattered book. I remember her, trapped in a creaky body, moving slowly around the kitchen in a sort of graceful dance with pain, cooking, cleaning, all the while humming, singing to herself.

In that time and space, to my child eyes, she seemed timeless and invincible. Now all I have are the sweetest memories of her. And the photographs of her looking so lovely and so fragile. She was one of the lucky ones – no falls, no breaks, no fractures. Instead, she quietly, silently, withered, shrank onto herself, rounded back and all.

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Mitochondria & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Peter Bongiorno on Friday, 04 May

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Why are Mitochondria Important? 

Mitochondria are organelles that are present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Probably everyone reading this learned about these little guys in high sch­ool biology, where they were described as "the energy packs of the cells."

About 20% of our body weight is mitochondria. This translates to about 250 quadrillion of these organelles. There are 37.2 trillion body cells with an average of 1 to 2000 mitochondria per cell. Sperm each have about 16 mitochondria and oocytes have 100,000 (which shows you where the power is).

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Recognizing Our Staff during Laboratory Professionals Week

Posted by Jillian Harrington, PhD, HCLD on Friday, 27 April

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Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) is a chance to bring awareness and to spotlight the achievements of medical laboratory professionals, whose work is essential to patient testing and fundamental to overall patient health care. There are 18 national organizations that sponsor MLPW, with approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the United States (http://www.ascls.org).

These organizations are dedicated to making a positive impact in health care through leadership that will assure excellence in the practice of laboratory medicine. Many laboratories plan tours and various other activities during this week to educate non-laboratorians about the field of clinical testing.

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