The objective of the current study was to investigate the associations between lifetime classic psychedelic use and cardiometabolic diseases. Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2005–2014), the present study examined the associations between lifetime classic psychedelic use and two types of cardiometabolic disease: heart disease and diabetes. Respondents who reported having tried a classic psychedelic at least once in their lifetime had lower odds of heart disease in the past year (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.77 (0.65–0.92), p = .006) and lower odds of diabetes in the past year (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.88 (0.78–0.99), p = .036). Classic psychedelic use might be beneficial for cardiometabolic health, but more research is needed to investigate potential causal pathways of classic psychedelics on cardiometabolic diseases.
Age-specific estimates of mean testosterone (T) concentrations appear to vary by year of observation and by birth cohort, and estimates of longitudinal declines in T typically outstrip cross-sectional decreases. These observations motivate a hypothesis of a population-level decrease in T over calendar time, independent of chronological aging. We observe a substantial age-independent decline in T that does not appear to be attributable to observed changes in explanatory factors, including health and lifestyle characteristics such as smoking and obesity. The estimated population-level declines are greater in magnitude than the cross-sectional declines in T typically associated with age.
Objective This study aimed to investigate the effect of regular contemplative mental training on endocrine and psychological indices of long-term stress. Methods An open-label efficacy trial that comprised three distinct 3-month long modules targeting attention and interoception, socioaffective, or sociocognitive abilities through dyadic exercises and secularized meditation practices was conducted with healthy adults. Participants underwent the training for 3 or 9 months, or were assigned to a retest control cohort. Chronic stress indices were assayed at four time points: pretraining and after 3, 6, and 9 months. The main outcome measures were cortisol (HC) and cortisone (HE) concentration in hair and self-reported long-term stress. Results Of 362 initially randomized individuals, 30 dropped out before study initiation (n = 332; mean [SD] age = 40.7 [9.2] years; 197 women). Hair-based glucocorticoid assays were available from n = 227, and questionnaire data from n = 326. Results from three separate training cohorts (TC1–3) revealed consistent decreases in HC and HE levels over the first three (TC3) to 6 months (TC1 and TC2) of training, with no further reduction at the final 9-month mark (baseline to end of training differences, HC, TC1: t(355) = 2.59, p = .010, contrast estimate (est.) [SE] = 0.35 [0.14]; HC, TC2: t(363) = 4.06, p
Ultraviolet (UV) light affects endocrinological and behavioral aspects of sexuality via an unknown mechanism. Here we discover that ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure enhances the levels of sex-steroid hormones and sexual behavior, which are mediated by the skin. In female mice, UVB exposure increases hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis hormone levels, resulting in larger ovaries; extends estrus days; and increases anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) expression. UVB exposure also enhances the sexual responsiveness and attractiveness of females and male-female interactions. Conditional knockout of p53 specifically in skin keratinocytes abolishes the effects of UVB. Thus, UVB triggers a skin-brain-gonadal axis through skin p53 activation. In humans, solar exposure enhances romantic passion in both genders and aggressiveness in men, as seen in analysis of individual questionaries, and positively correlates with testosterone level. Our findings suggest opportunities for treatment of sex-steroid-related dysfunctions.
Social aggression is an escalating hazard for individuals and society. It is most frequently observed as impulsive–reactive aggression in antisocial personality disorder (APD), but in psychopathic aggressive personalities instrumental social aggression is more prominent. However, the psychobiological mechanisms underlying human social aggression are still poorly understood. Here we propose a psychobiological mechanism that may explain human social aggression wherein the steroid hormones cortisol and testosterone play a critical role. High levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol have been associated with social aggression in several species but it seems that in those individuals wherein these hormonal markers combine social aggression is most violent. In this review we discuss fundamental and clinical research which underscores the potential of the testosterone–cortisol ratio as a possible marker for criminal aggressive tendencies.
Strong and durable anticancer immune responses are associated with the generation of activated cancer-specific T cells in the draining lymph nodes. However, cancer cells can colonize lymph nodes and drive tumour progression. Here, we show that lymphocytes fail to penetrate metastatic lesions in lymph nodes. In tissue from patients with breast, colon, and head and neck cancers, as well as in mice with spontaneously developing breast-cancer lymph-node metastases, we found that lymphocyte exclusion from nodal lesions is associated with the presence of solid stress caused by lesion growth, that solid stress induces reductions in the number of functional high endothelial venules in the nodes, and that relieving solid stress in the mice increased the presence of lymphocytes in lymph-node lesions by about 15-fold. Solid-stress-mediated impairment of lymphocyte infiltration into lymph-node metastases suggests a therapeutic route for overcoming T-cell exclusion during immunotherapy.
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of repeated hot thermal stress and cold water immersion on the endocrine system of young adult men with moderate and high levels of physical activity (PA). The research was conducted on 30 men aged 19–26 years (mean: 22.67 ± 2.02) who attended four sauna sessions of 12 min each (temperature: 90−91°C; relative humidity: 14–16 %). Each sauna session was followed by a 6-min cool-down break during which the participants were immersed in cold water (10−11°C) for 1 min. Testosterone (TES), cortisol (COR), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), and prolactin (PRL) levels were measured before and after the sauna bath. The participants’ PA levels were evaluated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Serum COR levels decreased significantly (p .05) were noted in the concentrations of the remaining hormones: TES increased from 4.04 to 4.24 ng/ml, DHEA-S decreased from 357.5 to 356.82 µg/ml, and PRL decreased from 14.50 to 13.71 ng/ml. After sauna, a greater decrease in COR concentrations was observed in males with higher baseline COR levels, whereas only a minor decrease was noted in participants with very low baseline COR values (r =−0.673, p
Biosensors that continuously measure circulating biomolecules in real time could provide insights into the health status of patients and their response to therapeutics. But biosensors for the continuous real-time monitoring of analytes in vivo have only reached nanomolar sensitivity and can measure only a handful of molecules, such as glucose and blood oxygen. Here we show that multiple analytes can be continuously and simultaneously measured with picomolar sensitivity and sub-second resolution via the integration of aptamers and antibodies into a bead-based fluorescence sandwich immunoassay implemented in a custom microfluidic chip. After an incubation time of 30 s, bead fluorescence is measured using a high-speed camera under spatially multiplexed two-colour laser illumination. We used the assay for continuous quantification of glucose and insulin concentrations in the blood of live diabetic rats to resolve inter-animal differences in the pharmacokinetic response to insulin as well as discriminate pharmacokinetic profiles from different insulin formulations. The assay can be readily modified to continuously and simultaneously measure other blood analytes in vivo.
The pineal gland is a central structure in the circadian system which produces melatonin under the control of the central clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN and the output of the pineal gland, i.e. melatonin, are synchronized to the 24‐hr day by environmental light, received by the retina and transmitted to the SCN via the retinohypothalamic tract. Melatonin not only plays an important role in the regulation of circadian rhythms, but also acts as antioxidant and neuroprotector that may be of importance in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Circadian disorders, such as sleep–wake cycle disturbances, are associated with aging, and even more pronounced in AD. Many studies have reported disrupted melatonin production and rhythms in aging and in AD that, as we showed, are taking place as early as in the very first preclinical AD stages (neuropathological Braak stage I–II). Degeneration of the retina‐SCN‐pineal axis may underlie these changes. Our recent studies indicate that a dysfunction of the sympathetic regulation of pineal melatonin synthesis by the SCN is responsible for melatonin changes during the early AD stages. Reactivation of the circadian system (retina‐SCN‐pineal pathway) by means of light therapy and melatonin supplementation, to restore the circadian rhythm and to relieve the clinical circadian disturbances, has shown promising positive results.