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Wilker S.,University of Ulm | Pfeiffer A.,University of Konstanz | Elbert T.,University of Konstanz | Ovuga E.,Gulu University | And 5 more authors.
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2016

The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the regulation of the stress response, fear memory formation, and inflammatory processes. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from exposure to extreme stress and is characterized by strong, associative memories for the traumatic events experienced. Furthermore, an elevated physical disease risk has been observed in PTSD, likely to be mediated by inflammatory processes. Therefore, altered endocannabinoid regulation can be expected in individuals with PTSD. However, attempts to assess PTSD-associated differences in the endocannabinoid system from human blood samples have provided inconsistent results, possibly due to fluctuating levels of endocannabinoids. In hair, these neuromodulators are accumulated over time and thus give access to a more stable and reliable assessment. We therefore investigated PTSD-associated differences in hair concentrations of endocannabinoids (N-acyl-ethanolamides palmitoylethanolamide [PEA], oleoylethanolamide [OEA] and stearoylethanolamide [SEA]) in 38 rebel war survivors from Northern Uganda suffering from PTSD and N = 38 healthy rebel war survivors without current and lifetime PTSD. PTSD diagnosis and symptom severity were assessed in structured clinical interviews employing the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS). A significant group difference was observed for OEA, with PTSD patients showing reduced hair concentrations. Regression analyses further revealed strong negative relationships between all investigated N-acyl-ethanolamides and symptom severity of PTSD. The observed reductions in endocannabinoids might account for the increased inflammatory state as well as for the failure to extinguish fear memories observed in PTSD. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence suggesting the endocannabinoid system as a target for pharmacological enhancement of exposure-based psychotherapy for PTSD. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Kniess A.,Institute of Doping Analysis and Sports Biochemistry Dresden | Ziegler E.,Investigating Physician | Thieme D.,Institute of Doping Analysis and Sports Biochemistry Dresden | Muller R.K.,Institute of Doping Analysis and Sports Biochemistry Dresden
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2013

The GH-2000 discriminant functions, using insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and the N-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), enabled the detection of growth hormone (GH) doping despite the broad inter-individual normal range of both peptides. The sensitivity of the discriminant function-based methodology may perhaps be further increased in future by applying individual athlete profiles. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the intra-individual variability of IGF-I, PIIINP and the GH-2000 scores in athletes. For this purpose a total of eight blood samples were taken from each of fifty male and female elite athletes over a period of up to 18 months. The IGF-I and PIIINP levels, we found, lay predominantly within the reference range for elite athletes. The intra-individual variability for IGF-I ranged between 6 and 26%, while that for PIIINP ranged between 6 and 33%. The intra-individual variations of both parameters were higher in female than in male subjects and were found to be mostly moderate. We found that the intra-individual variations of the GH-2000 test scores, expressed as CV, ranged from 4 to 36% and were in most of the subjects markedly smaller than the inter-individual variation. Individual cut-offs for the GH-2000 scores would be lower than population based ones in most of the cases. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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