The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is a critical aspect of human hormonal system, and cortisol is the primary hormone of the HPA axis. The HPA axis is a feedback loop system allowing interaction between the brain and adrenal glands. Abnormalities of HPA axis function are associated with many chronic conditions. Specifically, Multiple Sclerosis disease activity has been shown to directly correlate with HPA axis dysfunction. Improved HPA axis function may reduce symptoms related to digestion, mood, sexuality, energy and immunity.
Salivary cortisol levels are an established and safe method of assessing HPA axis function. We recently began using this test on patients undergoing the TVAM procedure in order to assess their HPA axis functioning pre and post treatment.
Patients having abnormally low cortisol levels pre procedure are found to have normalization at two weeks following TVAM. This change was statistically significant with a P value of 0.02. The trend continues at three months post TVAM. These findings suggest an improved hormonal functioning that persists after the TVAM procedure, and the findings also provide insight into how the treatment may impact those with conditions whose symptoms are attributed to HPA dysfunction.
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