Biomarker in spit spotlights stress

In a recent study, scientists with the University of Oregon tracked the release of nerve growth factor in saliva, finding for the first time that this protein typically linked to the survival, development and function of neurons could be an important player in understanding the body's response to stress. "So far," says Heidemarie Laurent, lead author and assistant professor of psychology with the University of Oregon, "sNGF appears to represent a unique facet of the way a person responds to acute stress, with individual differences in sNGF related to both short-term and more lasting measures of psychological health. Most importantly, sNGF appears to be related to resilience rather than risk." Release

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