Grey Weather, Grey Mood: Cortisol Levels May Underlie Seasonal Affective Disorder

The relationship between season and psychological health in terms of mood has been greatly researched. A recent study shows the cortisol function differs over season in people reporting “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD [1]. This may finally help us to understand any biological mechanism underlying of SAD.

Seasonal affective disorder

Hair Cortisol as a Predictive Biomarker for Heart Attack

We all deal with stress. Whether it’s stress from a job, financial, or relationship issues, chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease [1-2]. However, there hasn’t been a biological marker that could be used to measure an individual’s level of stress. A recent study performed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and published in the journal Stress has found that the level of cortisol in hair can be used as a biomarker to measure chronic stress and the risk of heart attack in men [3].

The Link Between Positive Psychology and Cancer Survival

Have you ever heard a person in poor health being told “Well, you’ve got to stay positive, that will help”? This seemingly common idea is currently under significant scientific investigation. Indeed, the debate about the degree to which psychological processes can directly influence physical health has received special attention recently. A special supplement of the Annals of Behavioural Medicine directly addressed this topic in February this year and a recent article in the Lancet explored this issue, cautioning us that the relationship between a positive psychological orientation and cancer survival remains unclear [1].