Cardiophysiological and neuroendocrine studies suggest that the two components of the endogenous stress response system, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, are dysregulated in patients with schizophrenia. However, cardiophysiological measures are influenced by several confounding factors and the secretion of α-amylase in saliva is believed to represent a more reliable index of SNS activity. Therefore, to characterize the functional status of the SNS and HPA axis in schizophrenia we explored the concomitant salivary secretion of cortisol and α-amylase.
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