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.

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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Looking Back: Popular Articles for Patients in 2017

Posted by ZRT Laboratory on Friday, 05 January

ThinkstockPhotos-479706709_crop2.jpg2018 has begun, and with it comes new opportunity to understand the role of hormones, neurotransmitters and elements in our overall health. 

Let's take a quick trip down memory lane to reflect on the top stories of 2017 that captured your attention. 

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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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