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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Collection Timing Matters for Urine Testing

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 02 March

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Urine is rapidly becoming the preferred medium for neurotransmitter testing to ensure objective neurobiological assessment. This is because a) urine is the primary route of peripherally-produced neurotransmitter elimination; and b) it is non-invasive and cost-effective. This blog takes a look at how dried urine testing provides a superior advantage over standard liquid urine collection methods.

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The Impact of Hormones on Serotonin in Depression

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 09 February

Serotonin Blog Images-609310-edited.jpgSerotonin, or rather its deficiency, frequently steals the spotlight in conversations regarding depression.  Initially discovered as a component of serum in 1948 to regulate vasoconstriction (serotonin = serum + tone), the role of serotonin in depressive disorders wasn't implied until a few years later. Since then, much effort has been dedicated by scientists and clinicians alike to understand the wondrous complexity of the seemingly inscrutable code that is serotonin neurotransmission. In fact, some of the major breakthroughs in psychopharmacology happened with serotonin in mind – the discovery of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prominently expanded the therapeutic toolbox for mental health practitioners.      

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PTSD and the Resilient Brain: A Symphony of Neurotransmitters and Hormones

Posted by Christina Cowger, MA, LMFT on Friday, 26 January

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Traumatic stressors are defined by the direct experience, witnessing of, or confrontation by an event involving actual or threatened danger, and they evoke responses that include intense fear, helplessness or horror. On a national and global level 2017 was peppered with one disaster after another. There has been a palpable sort of post-traumatic stress permeating the nation. On the heels of the catastrophic storms, life-altering fires and manmade events, re-visiting what allows some people to bounce back more quickly than others after trauma may shed light on important, emergent assessment criteria.

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