Salivary α-amylase activity (SAA) levels correspond to plasma norepinephrine concentrations and are increasingly utilized as an accessible measure of sympathetic nervous system reactivity to stressors. To allow ambulatory assessment of SAA levels, we have developed and validated a point-of-care, colorimetric, SAA biosensor (Salivary amylase monitor). The biosensor comprises of a disposable test-strip and a hand-held reader (130×87×40mm^3; 190g), incorporating an optical reader and a saliva transfer device. The sampling-reporting cycle (<1 minute) allows speedy reporting of SAA levels. The purpose of this study is to contribute the construction of evidence-based medicine of stress evaluation by showing the relationship between the stressor and the SAA. The stressor was classified into psychological stressor, psychosomatic stressor, and physical stressor. The difference of SAA between before and after the stressor (score of SAA) was calculated quoting the SAA data which have previously reported as the case studies. It was considered that the score of SAA between before and after the stressor might be useful to distinguish the eustress and the distress. Additionally, it was suggested that the SAA is a better index of acute stress. The SAA biosensor realizes to analyze the human stress in real time and noninvasive, making multiple sampling easy and stress free.
Light reflex and oculogyration analyzing system is proposed in order to diagnose the Alzheimer type dementia (DAT) objectively. 19 patients are studied, which shows that the maximum miosis-ratio and miotic velocity are sensitive parameters to evaluate the severity of dementia and the changing time of internal and external rectus eye muscles is the effective index for screening of the dementia. The threshold of the changing time over 0.35 second can discriminate DAT clearly from the normal. For the rehabilitation of DAT, TENS on acute point BL-1 is used as peripheral nerve stimulation. At the same time the visual images of pupils are presented to the patients as biofeedback signals. The complex biofeedback shows improvement in MMSE, ADL score and the eye reflex parameters. The result is rather encouraging with the effect of 50%, so we hope that our proposed complex treating method might become a safe and self-curing system even in patients' homes. It may be a safe non-pharmacological treatment of the dementia.
This study examined the psychological and physiological effects of autogenic feedback training (AFT) on the weight sensation and warmth sensation components of autogenic training (AT) carried out by athletes with no prior AT experience. The experimental conditions were the AT condition (closed eyes, AT weight sensation and warmth sensation training carried out on the right hand) and the AFT condition (open eyes, AT weight sensation and warmth sensation training carried out on the right hand while the athlete watches a display of his right palm captured by a thermo tracer). The psychological characteristics of the two conditions were compared using the revised edition of the Two-Dimensional Mood Scale (TDMS), participants' subjective ratings of their motivation toward weight sensation/warmth sensation training, and subjective weight sensation/warmth sensation scores. The physiological characteristics were compared using skin temperature and skin potential level. The results revealed the following three differences between the conditions: (1) positive arousal scores on the TDMS for warmth sensation training were higher in the AFT condition; (2) subjective ratings of motivation toward warmth sensation training were higher in the AFT condition; and (3) subjective weight sensation and warmth sensation scores were higher in the AT condition. There are therefore differences in the psychological characteristics of AFT and AT. Bearing this in mind, an appropriate distinction should be made in the use of AFT and AT in athletes new to AT.
The present study investigated various attitudes toward social-psychological stress among individuals by examining behavior and contingent negative variation (CNV) in a cued reaction time task under critical competitive situations. Participants exhibiting high or low levels of competitiveness completed the task, competing on reaction speed with a visible or invisible opponent. The measures of individual arousal (early CNV) and, motor preparation or stimulus anticipation (late CNV) were collected and analyzed by a principal component analysis (PCA). For subjects exhibiting low levels of competitiveness, the amplitude of the late CNV was larger and reaction time (RT) was shorter when winning a trial, and the early CNV was also larger and RT was shorter when competing with a visible opponent. For subjects with high levels of competitiveness, the late CNV was larger in competitive situations with a visible opponent than with an invisible one, independent of RT. The early CNV exhibited a more anterior distribution, while the late CNV was located predominantly from the central to the parietal region and from the midline to the right hemisphere, a distribution which resembles that of stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN). These findings suggest that less competitive individuals have a chance of winning when motor preparation is adequate and their arousal level increases when they are acutely aware of their opponents, and that more competitive individuals may be highly motivated to win when they become more aware of their opponents.
Several studies of physiological and psychological effects during hearing music have been reported. Relaxation and refreshment quickly obtained by some external stimuli is useful in stressful surroundings. Previous studies indicated that the sounds with a rhythm of heart rate variability (HRV) had a significant physiological influence. In this study physiological and psychological effects of sound stimuli were investigated by synchronizing the rhythm of sound stimulus with the rhythm of heart rate. Two types of the intervals of the sound stimuli were used in the experiment based on the stimuli originating from physiological signals. One is active stimulus based on the heart rate of ergometer exercise and the other is rest stimulus based on the heart rate in a sleep state. The sound period was irregular similar to the heart rate variability. The active stimulus interval was gradually decreased and the rest stimulus interval was increased from the average of RRI (RR-interval) of each subject. Three kinds of sounds were used and paired with the two stimuli. RRI during hearing sound was analyzed and HF was calculated. RAS (Roken Arousal Scale) was measured for mental evaluation. We found that HF tended to increase during the rest stimulus and that the fluctuation of RRI of the subjects was partly similar to the stimulus. The result also showed that the stimuli originating from the physiological signals affected heart rate variability.
Aim: Biofeedback has been reported to be effective in treating functional defecation disorders due to pelvic floor inco-ordination. In this study, the biofeedback with balloon expulsion training was evaluated for the treatment of these disorders. Methods: Out of 152 patients who visited our institution complaining of constipation between September 2008 and August 2009, 43 demonstrated pelvic floor inco-ordination on defecography. Out of them, 21 were treated with biofeedback using balloon expulsion training and formed the subjects of this study. The constipation symptom severity and the constipation-specific quality of life were evaluated with modified Constipation Scoring System (mCSS, no constipation:0-worst:26) and Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAC-QOL, best:28-worst:140), respectively. The patient satisfaction was assessed by five categories. Results: The median age was 21 years old (range: 62-80) and 17 were male. The median mCSS improved significantly from 12 (6-17) at the first visit to 9 (3-18) before biofeedback (P=0.013). It made a further improvement to 8 (3-17) after biofeedback, but did not reach a statistical significance (P=0.08). The median PAC-QOL tended to improve from 84 (39-131) at the first visit to 66 (41-130) before biofeedback (P=0.053), and further improved significantly to 50.5 (33-123) after biofeedback (P=0.0005). Regarding the patient satisfaction, 7 patients were "extremely satisfied" and 6 were "quite a bit satisfied", resulting in 13 (61%) being satisfied with the treatment. Conclusions: With the biofeedback using balloon expulsion training, the constipation symptom tended to ameliorate and the quality of life significantly improved in patients with defecation disorders due to pelvic floor inco-ordination. In order to improve the success rate by refining our biofeedback method, we will adopt pelvic floor muscle relaxation technique using an anal electromyography and the authentic biofeedback method with some dedicated computerized software.