2009 Volume 8 Issue 4 Pages 1075-1082
This paper is aimed at evaluating the effect of prolonged mental stress on human physiological state. The human secretory immune and endocrine substances were introduced as “biomarkers” of such a prolonged stress. This relatively new field of study investigating the relationship and/or interaction between human mental and somatic states has been developed according to the development of the molecular analysis techniques, such as Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and showed that the several secretory hormones and immune substances could possibly be useful stress markers. However, what types of stressors and its duration could be evaluated by such biomarkers is not well understood. In this article, the effect of prolonged mental stress during long-term graduation examination of undergraduate students was investigated comparing with the effect of short-term mental stress by simple arithmetic task. As a result, one immune substance within saliva, immunoglobulin A, was showed as a possible stress marker for both long- and short-term stressors.