Hair cortisol level as a molecular biomarker in retinitis pigmentosa patients
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Retinitis pigmentosaHair cortisol concentrationNegative psychological statesChronic stressVariations in vision
M. Mateos-Olivares... [et al.]. Hair cortisol level as a molecular biomarker in retinitis pigmentosa patients, Experimental Eye Research, Volume 219, 2022, 109019, ISSN 0014-4835, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2022.109019]
SponsorshipGerencia Regional de Salud de Castilla y Le PRIME 1932/A/19; Spanish Government PID2020-114585RA-I00
Purpose: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients commonly experience negative psychological states due to their progressive and unpredictable loss of vision and visual variations related to stress. The aim of this study was to examine hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs), which is usually associated with chronic stress, pretending to unveil possible associations between underlying psychological factors and disease severity in RP patients. Methods: Seventy-eight RP patients and 148 healthy controls were included in this study. A complete ophthalmological exam was performed in all patients to grade into severity disease groups. Perceived stress and traitanxiety were measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire. Results: Fifty-two (67%) patients had severe RP and 26 (33%) mild-moderate RP. Fifty-eight (58,9%) patients reported severely levels of stress and 18 (23.,1%) highly levels assessed by STAI questionnaire. RP patients exhibited higher HCCs (500.04 ± 120.99 pg/mg) than in controls (136.17 ± 60.51 pg/mg; p < 0.001). Severe RP patients had significant higher HCCs than mild-moderate patients differing in 274.27 pg/mg (p < 0.001). RP severity grade and perceived anxiety levels in the questionaries were not associated. Group differences were not affected by relevant covariates (age, grade of severity, stress status, and gender). Conclusions: HCC seems an effective biomarker associated with chronic stress in RP patients. This study shows that HCC in patients with RP are elevated compared to population-based controls, and association between HCC and RP severity was found. Future research is needed to characterize the effect of untreated negative psychological states on progression of the disease if any.