Salivary cortisol as a non-invasive window on the brain

Smyth, N. 2020. Salivary cortisol as a non-invasive window on the brain. in: Clow, A. and Smyth, N. (ed.) Stress and Brain Health: Across the Life Course Elsevier. pp. 1-16

Chapter titleSalivary cortisol as a non-invasive window on the brain
AuthorsSmyth, N.
EditorsClow, A. and Smyth, N.
Abstract

The validation of accurate and meaningful assessment of cortisol in saliva samples has proved revolutionary in stress research. Its many advantages have expanded the scope of investigation from traditional laboratory and clinical settings to include multidisciplinary and community-based research. These developments have given rise to a wealth insight into the links between stress and health. Here we highlight the potential of salivary cortisol as both a product and mediator of brain function, instrumental in disturbing brain health. However, the subtleties of salivary cortisol as a measure can be underestimated, leading to misinterpretation of findings. These issues are explored, with a particular emphasis on necessary methodological rigour. Notwithstanding great promise, there is undeniably more to learn so we conclude by making recommendations for future research including use of salivary cortisol in the development of integrative predictive models of stress-related risk factors and resilience across the life course.

KeywordsHPA axis
cortisol measurement
brain health
stress responding
circadian
diurnal
CAR
Book titleStress and Brain Health: Across the Life Course
Page range1-16
Year2020
PublisherElsevier
Publication dates
Published01 Apr 2020
Published online10 Jan 2020
SeriesInternational Review of Neurobiology, vol. 50
ISBN9780128167526
ISSN0074-7742
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irn.2019.12.003
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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