Stress induced by the socially evaluated cold-pressor test cause equivalent deficiencies of sensory gating in male subjects with schizophrenia and healthy controls.

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Publication Details

Author list: Jurado Barba R
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Psychiatry Research (0165-1781)
Volume number: 228
Issue number: 3
Start page: 283
End page: 288
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0165-1781
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


It is known that patients with schizophrenia show a deficiency in the
prepulse inhibition reflex (PPI). These patients display abnormalities
in autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function
and may have an altered sensitivity to stress. To date, no studies have
been carried out to determine the effect of acute stress on the PPI. We
investigated whether there was a differential response in reactivity to
acute stress caused by the socially evaluated cold-pressor test (SECPT)
in a sample of 58 chronic male patients with schizophrenia and 28
healthy control subjects. PPI, salivary cortisol and heart rate (HR)
were measured. The patients were evaluated in two sessions (with and
without the SECPT) 72 h apart and basal measurements were carried out
and 30 min post-startle probe. We found an increase in salivary cortisol
levels and the HR with SECPT condition in both groups and a
significantly lower PPI% in patients with schizophrenia. The most
relevant findings of this study are that the impairment of the PPI is
increased by stress. Stress-induced increase in cortisol in both groups,
mainly in healthy control group which allows us to hypothesize that at
least such deterioration may be due to the hypercortisolemia caused by
the SECPT.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45