AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Exploring relationships between stress and olfaction as mediated by neuropeptide y

by William J Heaton

Institution: University of Tennessee – Chattanooga
Year: 2016
Keywords: Smell  – Psychological aspects; Sensory evaluation
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2125208
Full text PDF: http://scholar.utc.edu/theses/473


The negative correlation between olfactory sensitivity and depression has been well documented, but the biological processes underpinning the relationship are not understood. This study explored a potential relationship between olfactory sensitivity, stress, and resilience to stress, specifically examining neuropeptide y (NPY) as a mediator. In phase I, 197 UTC students participated in a survey measuring stress and resilience among other factors. Of this sample, 25 students volunteered for phase II, in which they took an olfactory threshold test and gave blood. Serum levels of cortisol and NPY were analyzed from blood samples. Correlational analyses suggest a positive effect of stress (p=.013) and a negative effect of resilience (p=.003) on olfactory thresholds, while biological markers were inconclusive. Future studies should incorporate the diagnosis of stress disorders, as biological markers may not significantly fluctuate based on non-clinical levels of stress. Advisors/Committee Members: Ozbek, Irene N., Foerder, Preston, G., Santiago, Manuel F., College of Arts and Sciences.