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BAG. Journal of basic and applied genetics

On-line version ISSN 1852-6233


LOPEZ, M.C; AGUILAR, M.J; ZABALETA, V  and  BAKKER, L. Diurnal cortisol slope in girls and adolescents with diagnosis of turner syndrome. BAG, J. basic appl. genet. [online]. 2011, vol.22, n.2, pp.56-63. ISSN 1852-6233.

Turner Syndrome is a non-inheritable chromosomal abnormality with highest incidence in female population. Women diagnosed with this condition present atypical brain morphology which includes hippocampal and amygdalar disorders. Both structures are key to the regulation of daily cortisol concentrations. This study analyzes diurnal cortisol slope in girls and adolescents diagnosed with Turner Syndrome. The aim of our study is to establish possible associations with the atypical brain morphology described for this population. A competitive radioimmunoassay was conducted on salivary cortisol samples obtained at 8 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for two days, at a school and rest day. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed and their average values compared with a similar study in non-Turner girls. An alteration of diurnal cortisol slope was observed in all the participants, all evidencing high evening levels. The present study attempts to associate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity with anatomical and functional alterations of the hippocampus and amygdala, considering that they constitute the primary neural development defect for women diagnosed with this syndrome. This also entails great vulnerability to environmental stress factors. The goal of this study is to advance our understanding of the factors that favor the anatomical and functional reorganization and recovery of important neural structures related to cognitive and emotional development of women suffering from Turner Syndrome.

Keywords : Turner syndrome; Diurnal cortisol slope; Salivary cortisol.

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