Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paper Published Linking Psychological Hardiness and Cholesterol

Did you know there’s a link between cholesterol and psychological resilience?

Jay Valdes, Ph.D., Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) senior technologist in biotechnology, co-authored a paper addressing that link that will be presented as a poster at the May 2011 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science. The paper, “Biomarkers for Hardiness-Resilience:  Psychological Hardiness Is Linked to Baseline Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Adults,” was co-authored with Paul Bartone, Ph.D., senior research fellow at the National Defense University (NDU); Tony Spinosa, director of the NDU Health & Fitness Directorate; and Lt. Col. Joel Robb, U.S. Air Force.

The psychological characteristic of “hardiness” or “resilience” has been clearly linked to physiological response to stressors including susceptibility to disease, ability to survive stressful situations such as captivity, and may be implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide. 

"The psychological correlates of hardiness/resilience are quite robust,” said Valdes. “Identifying underlying biomarkers would allow us to predict performance during stress, as well as possible points of intervention to lessen the effects of PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Such an application of personal medicine is still some years away. "

The experimental subjects in this study were military and civilian students from the National War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, classes of 2009 and 2010.  Statistical support was provided by the University of Bergen in Norway.  Future work will be focused on developing a panel of biomarkers with more powerful predictive ability.

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