Publications by authors named "J Rajcáni"

171 Publications

Stress and hair cortisol concentrations in nurses during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2021 Jul 27;129:105245. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline healthcare workers have been exposed to very stressful conditions. Measuring hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs), which reflect the integrated long-term cortisol levels, may elucidate the impact of COVID-19 related stress on healthcare professionals. In the current study, we investigated experienced stress in 693 healthcare workers, with hair samples for cortisol analysis collected from a subset of 67 female nurses. The HCCs in two 3 cm hair segments corresponding to periods before and during the peak of the first wave of COVID-19 were compared. To evaluate the effect of working in the first line, the sample was divided into two groups based on the COVID-19 risk estimated by the nurses. Covariates in the model included perceived stress (PSS), perceived social support (MSPSS), and quality of sleep (PSQI) measured via an online questionnaire. The data showed that more than 75% of healthcare workers agreed that COVID-19 led to increased stress at their workplace. The hair cortisol analysis showed higher HCCs in the hair segments corresponding to the time of the pandemic compared to hair corresponding to an earlier period (partial η = 0.123-0.397); in the same model, higher HCCs were also found in nurses from high-risk environments compared to low-risk ones (partial η = 0.002-0.176). None of the subjective questionnaire measures were significant predictors of HCCs. In conclusion, these data showed that HCCs reflect the increased stress among nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the difference in nurses between high- and low-risk environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078045PMC
July 2021

Neuroendocrine responses to a psychosocial stress test for larger groups of participants: comparison of two test exposures.

Endocr Regul 2020 Nov 24;54(4):255-259. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Institute of Experimental Endocrinology of the Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Science,Bratislava, Slovakia.

Individual stress tests characterized by social evaluative threat and uncontrollability are known to elicit strong neuroendocrine responses. We tested whether a psychosocial stressor submitted to a larger group of participants (up to 60) may elicit comparable stress responses. A total of 59 adult subjects (33 women, 26 men) participated in the study, whereas 24 of them suffered from allergy and 35 were healthy. The stress test consisted of a distraction stress task followed by a speech task, in which the participants were randomly subjected to questions related to a topic that they had to prepare as well as arithmetic questions in front of their peers and a committee that responded in standardized and non-supporting manner. State and trait anxiety inventory (STAI) for anxiety state was administrated before and after the test and salivary samples taking. The test was repeated after five months. The results showed that the shared psychosocial stress application in a larger group of subjects was prosperous. The larger group test (LGST) resulted in an enhanced subjectively experienced stress and an intensive sympathetic nervous system activation, reflected by elevated salivary alpha-amylase activity and the heart rate. The cortisol increment after exposure to the stress test was not significant. Repeated exposure to the test failed to reproduce the original stress responses with exception of the heart rate rise. In a larger group of subjects, the psychosocial stress test did elicit stress responses similar to the individual stress tests. Our data indicate that the above-mentioned stress test is apparently not an appropriate approach for the repeated use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/enr-2020-0028DOI Listing
November 2020

The acute effect of psychosocial stress on the level of oxidative stress in children.

Int J Psychophysiol 2021 Mar 14;161:86-90. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The effect of chronic stress on oxidative stress (OS) is commonly discussed while the effect of acute stress situation is not fully examined yet. The present study was aimed to analyse whether acute psychosocial strain causes changes in OS and antioxidant status. Unstimulated saliva was collected from 46 healthy prepubertal children during the control and stress day. On the stress day, collection was performed before and after a stress situation induced by the Trier social stress test. Saliva collection during the control day imitated the stress day without the stress strain. Samples were used for analysis of lipid peroxidation, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and markers of antioxidant status, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). On the stress day, increased level of FRAP was observed in the second saliva collection in comparison with the first collection. Within the same day, no significant changes in the levels of TBARS, AGEs and TAC were observed in samples taken before and after stress strain. Significantly higher levels of TBARS were observed on stress day in comparison to control day. In summary, acute psychosocial stress caused increase of FRAP during the stress day. TBARS did not increase during the stress day in the second sample but it was higher compared to the control day. None of the interactions with gender were statistically significant. It appears the short-term exposure to stress could potentially stimulate antioxidant activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.01.007DOI Listing
March 2021

Cumulative cortisol concentrations in hair of patients with atopy are lower than in healthy subjects and are not related to their perceived stress experience.

Stress 2020 11 30;23(6):746-749. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Patients with atopy were found to exhibit blunted cortisol responses to acute stress stimuli. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that cumulative cortisol concentrations in the hair of patients with atopy are lower than in healthy subjects when related to their perceived stress experience. The sample consisted of 31 participants. The most proximal 3 cm of hair (as close to the scalp as possible), reflecting the cumulative cortisol secretion during the previous 3 months, was used for the analysis. Only in 20 subjects (9 patients with atopy and 11 healthy controls), there was a sufficient amount of hair for precise analysis using a new methodology. The results showed lower hair cortisol concentrations in patients with atopy compared to those in controls. The perceived stress scores in patients with atopy and healthy controls were not statistically different. The cortisol concentration/perceived stress score ratios were lower in patients with atopy compared to those in controls. No statistically significant correlation between hair cortisol and long-term experienced stress assessed via perceived stress scale was observed. In conclusion, the cumulative cortisol secretion in the hair of atopic patients is lower than would be expected according to their subjective scores of perceived stress. Most importantly, the previously lower stress hormone increase found in acute stress situations and in children now was confirmed in adult patients with chronic stress load.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2020.1825673DOI Listing
November 2020

Coronaviruses.

Authors:
J Rajčáni

Acta Virol 2020 ;64(2):264-267

The members of coronavirus family are facultative pathogens of birds and mammals, including men. From their first isolation 60 years ago, they caused smaller or larger epidemics mainly originating from China. The most recent pandemic quickly spreading worldwide has affected over 2,000,000 people. Keywords: coronavirus; epidemic; single strand vRNA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4149/av_2020_215DOI Listing
September 2020