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.

Mood and Menopause – Going Through "The Change"

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 01 December

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Not quite menopause. Throwing blankets off at night, keeping awake. Fatigue and irritation punctuated throughout the day by heat dissipating from every pore, clouding thoughts, reinforcing forgetfulness. Hair falling out so stubbornly fast. Clothes choosing when to fit. Flooding periods coming sporadically, unexpectedly. They call it “the change of life” – but I feel like a different person altogether. What is happening?         

In perimenopause, the physiological landscape is subject to tremendous change with estradiol and progesterone at the heart of the transition. Progesterone levels fall quickly – no ovulation – no corpus luteum – no progesterone. Estradiol, on the other hand, does not give up so easily. Estradiol levels continue to rise and fall – reliable, steady, wave-like – a biological rollercoaster – approaching the halting rhythms of reproductive senescence. In the context of very low progesterone, these dramatic peaks and troughs in estradiol levels, give rise to systemic consequences and unrelenting symptoms of the menopausal transition. 

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Monoamine Metabolites – An Essential Factor In Understanding Neurotransmitters

Posted by Dr. David Zava on Friday, 13 October

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After an extensive and careful review of test results over the past year, the scientists and clinical consultants at ZRT have concluded that the monoamine metabolites ZRT includes as part of its panel of 14 neurotransmitters are essential for the best and most comprehensive interpretation of test results.

We've determined that while looking at a more limited range of seven to nine neurotransmitters is helpful in assessing precursor availability, interpreting results based on those levels alone without their downstream metabolites can result in undertreatment, treatment of the wrong part of the system, or overtreatment with direct precursors.

It is only in looking at a complete set of parent neurotransmitters together with their metabolites that you glean the most precise information about systemic patterns – leading to a provider's ability to develop the most effective treatment plan. 

Following are several examples that have led us to these conclusions.

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Clinical Pearls - Getting the Most Out of Your Neurotransmitter Test

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 29 September

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Learning how to use a new test can be overwhelming, especially when it goes back to neurology which you might not have thought of since medical school.

To assist health care providers in approaching neurotransmitter testing as a functional assessment, ZRT has outlined a series of key concepts below.

As with any functional test that measures physiological function, the challenge lies in the interpretation of subclinical levels of measured parameters. However, it is within those subclinical levels that the neurotransmitter test becomes a powerful tool to identify what is contributing to a specific patient's health issues and how to map toward a successful outcome based on an individual treatment plan.

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Nutritional Lithium: Orchestrating Our Genes & Optimizing Our Moods

Posted by Dr. James Greenblatt on Friday, 08 September

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This is part two of Dr. Greenblatt's Nutritional Lithium series. Part one can be found here.

Epigenetics & Psychiatry

The field of epigenetics has far-reaching implications for psychiatry. As acquired epigenetic alterations can be transferred to the next generations, what scientists used to label as an inherited psychiatric disease may in fact be the result of epigenetic changes in a family’s shared environment.

Many psychiatric diseases are consistent with the theory of epigenetic dysregulation because of their fluctuating nature and disease course. Single gene and whole genome epigenetic analyses have shown atypical epigenetic markers in the blood and brain of individuals with psychiatric diseases including abnormalities in DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression.

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