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

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 06 April

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When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis.

Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters. In fact, the signaling neurotransmitters that manage mood and affect often overlap with measures of HPA axis activation, and cannot be easily distinguished in some subjects. [1]

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Mental Health & Hormonal Imbalance in Game of Thrones

Posted by Kori Wallace on Friday, 14 July

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It may be summer outside, but for many of us winter is coming in July this year. Finally, this is the weekend when the new season of Game of Thrones arrives!

The richly twisted story makes you love to hate the Lannisters, and root for the Starks and Targaryen (or is it Targaryens?). And while I'm counting down the days, I can’t help but recount my careful dissections from the end of last season.

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Re-assessing the Notion of "Pregnenolone Steal"

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Wednesday, 21 June

ThinkstockPhotos-687447022-pregnenolone-.jpgWhen clinicians measure salivary cortisol and DHEA (DHEA-S) to assess stress and HPA axis function, it is common to find DHEA levels below the reference range in a number of individuals. A common explanation for the depletion of DHEA and other hormones (e.g., progesterone, testosterone) due to chronic stress is the phenomenon known as "pregnenolone steal."

The pregnenolone steal notion states that since all steroid hormones use pregnenolone (derived from cholesterol) as a precursor, the elevated secretion of cortisol caused by acute or chronic stress will inevitably result in less available pregnenolone to serve as a precursor for the production of DHEA and other down-stream hormones.

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Is it Adrenal Fatigue? Reassessing the Nomenclature of HPA Axis Dysfunction.

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Tuesday, 25 April

hPA.Axis_lores_crop.jpgSometimes, when we endeavor to understand and describe complicated medical topics, there is a temptation to find a simple explanation to cut through the complexity. These explanations can help bridge the knowledge gap for a while, but as our knowledge grows, they lose some of their original usefulness (e.g., the notion of “good” and “bad” cholesterol).

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