Neuropeptides and Neurohormones in Stress Responses
Dr. Margaret Altemus has a longstanding interest in neuropeptide and neurohormonal systems in both normal stress responses and in the pathophysiology of anxiety and affective disorders. She also studies the potential role of these systems in the mechanism in action of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. Methods for investigating these relationships include measures of gene expression and endocrine, physiological, and behavioral measures. Studies are conducted in healthy humans, patients with anxiety disorders, and in animal models.
Dr. Altemus is currently studying the effect of reproductive hormones, including gonadal steroids, oxytocin, and prolactin on regulation of stress response systems and anxiety. She is particularly interested in the effects of gonadal steroids on the course of obsessive-compulsive disorder.