Psychologist Shauna Simon shares research on Salivary Bioscience Research
Testing the effects of Cannabis and tobacco on in utero and early childhood development
The Saddleback Psi Beta & Psychology Club hosted the PsychTalks series on salivary biomarkers. Biomarkers are characteristics of the body that can be measured that indicate normal or abnormal markers. Typical biomarkers are measures of blood pressure and heart rate to basic metabolic studies and x-ray findings to complex histologic and genetic tests of blood and other tissues.
Saliva can provide for multiple measures from one sample and can detect hormonal stressors or inflammatory problems. Recent research shows that substance exposure in early development may be associated with hyperactivity of mucosal immunity. Mucosal immunity defines the relationship of surfaces in contact with the environment and integrates diverse tissues such as epidermis, gum, nose, gut, uterus and prostate with the immune system. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cigarettes and cannabis in early childhood is linked to exposure-related changes in mucosal immunity.
In one stress research hormone levels and stress indicators were measured using salivary biomarkers on a group of people who went outside everyday for thirty minutes for a month. The biomarkers were measured on the effects of nature and stress reduction. A significant drop in stress levels was detected by the group of individuals who went outside every day by using a saliva test kit at home.
An option like salivary biomarkers is great for children because it can be done at home and it eliminates the need for invasive tests that require needles. Salivary biomarkers are more prevalent as a way of testing for Covid-19 because saliva is easy to collect. Salivary biomarkers are minimally invasive and are low-cost, which can make it easier to collect a lot of samples and tests for certain diseases in a short amount of time.
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