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.

Clinical Utility of Urinary Neurotransmitter Testing

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Wednesday, 24 August

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Neurotransmitters 101

The brain orchestrates the delicate interplay between the body and the mind. Structural brain units, the neurons, discharge neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters provide a communication platform for the brain to fuel internal systems with information. Anything the body senses, feels, hears, smells, touches, or ingests serves as an input that prompts an astoundingly fast response. In the central and peripheral nervous system, neurotransmitters operate as chemical messengers that relay the signal and receive feedback via electrochemical impulses to regulate cognition, memory, emotions, respiration, heart rate and contractility, digestion, metabolism, blood flow and pressure, and hormonal responses. When released from peripheral organs, neurotransmitters can also behave as hormones by diffusing to distant sites via the circulation. 

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Element Testing – Why Sample Type Matters!

Posted by Ted Zava on Tuesday, 03 May

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Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, feces, hair, fingernails … the list goes on. How do you decide what biological sample(s) to use for element analysis? Can results be compared to scientific literature or do they have clinical significance? Is it possible for values to be elevated or low in one sample type and normal in another? Do test results indicate recent intake, body burden, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, deficiency, or homeostatic regulation? These are just some of the questions facing a testing laboratory when they want to develop and validate essential and toxic element profiles that will provide clinically meaningful results.

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High Air Levels of Arsenic & Cadmium May Be Linked to a Cancer Cluster in Portland, Oregon

Posted by Ted Zava on Thursday, 04 February

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Many residents were surprised to learn today that high levels of arsenic and cadmium are being detected at an air monitoring station in Southeast Portland, Oregon according to the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Watch the News: Dr. Zava comments on toxin exposure in SE Portland

The state began monitoring air quality after moss samples taken from the area last October were found to be high in arsenic and cadmium. The results, which were only made public in the past few days, show cadmium at 49 times the acceptable level and arsenic at 159 times the acceptable level for air.

Of key concern is that the testing location is in an area populated with businesses, schools, and parks. It is not clear yet how long exposure has occurred or whether it is caused by a nearby glass blowing facility. As of this week, the glass blowing facility decided to cease use of arsenic and cadmium.

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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 13 November

normal.chalkboard.jpgCLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results.

Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same.

However, when methodologies or equipment for the same test differ somewhat from lab to lab, each lab must provide its own reference range established with its own methods. These ranges are usually very close, but may differ slightly depending on method. An example would be testing testosterone in blood or saliva by extraction and LC-mass spectrometry vs. direct testing by immunoassay.

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