Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5%.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression

Read this article

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

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.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression

Read this article

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

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…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, PTSD, Mental Health, Stress

Read this article

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

One of ZRT's most popular tests includes diurnal assessment of a patient's salivary cortisol levels. On the surface, these tests seem easy enough to interpret, but experienced clinicians know there can sometimes be pitfalls. Patients testing cortisol in a clinical setting may take undisclosed medications, live under stressful conditions, have inflammation, genetic variations, tumors, and diseases.…

Tags: Stress, Saliva Testing, Adrenal and Cortisol

Read this article

Avoiding 3 Common Interpretation Pitfalls for Salivary Cortisol Tests

The New York Times did a remarkable story the other day that ended with the line "When you hear hoofbeats, the chances are good that it's a horse…but we must also remember that sometimes the circus is in town." ZRT is apparently hosting the circus this year. At the odds of 3-8 individuals per million – ZRT has been instrumental in discovering two cases of pheochromocytoma tumors in the last…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, Stress, Cancer, Dried Urine Testing, Adrenal and Cortisol

Read this article

Pheochromocytoma - A Rare Condition Exposed by Neurotransmitter Testing

When clinicians measure salivary cortisol and DHEA (DHEA-S) to assess stress and HPA axis function, it is common to find DHEA levels below the reference range in a number of individuals. A common explanation for the depletion of DHEA and other hormones (e.g., progesterone, testosterone) due to chronic stress is the phenomenon known as "pregnenolone steal." The pregnenolone steal notion states that…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Pregnenolone Steal, Adrenal and Cortisol

Read this article

Re-assessing the Notion of "Pregnenolone Steal"

Sometimes, when we endeavor to understand and describe complicated medical topics, there is a temptation to find a simple explanation to cut through the complexity. These explanations can help bridge the knowledge gap for a while, but as our knowledge grows, they lose some of their original usefulness (e.g., the notion of “good” and “bad” cholesterol). In some cases, those over-simplified…

Tags: Stress, HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Adrenal and Cortisol

Read this article

Is It Adrenal Fatigue? Reassessing the Nomenclature of HPA Axis Dysfunction.

O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness? William Shakespeare, Henry IVA good night's sleep is important to health. During sleep the body is in an anabolic state when energy conservation, tissue repair and growth take over. The body temperature drops, growth hormone is secreted and…

Tags: Herbs, Sleep, Stress

Read this article

Herbal Remedies for Sleep Disturbances & the Nervous System

After beating cancer, Dr. Zembroski strives to prevent chronic disease in his patients. Hear his story."You have a 5-inch tumor in your chest" were the words spoken from a friend and radiologist as we both stared bewildered at my chest X-ray, following a host of side effects I'd been having for weeks. As I looked at the X-ray film in amazement, my thoughts quickly changed to frustration and anger…

Tags: Stress, Cancer, Adrenal and Cortisol

Read this article

How Stress Caused My Cancer

Stress has become a synonymous, integral even, accompaniment of life in our fast-paced world. Generally regarded as "distress," our bodies struggle to re-establish physiological integrity at certain times, such as after working long hours, or when we have insufficient exercise, sleep and nutrition. Driven by persistent exposure to stressors, the body begins to lose its dynamic resilience and fails…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, Sleep, Stress, HPA Axis

Read this article

Diurnal Fluctuations in Norepinephrine & Epinephrine as Part of the Healthy Stress Response

Subscribe to Our Blog