Emotional sweating occurs in response to affective stimuli like fear, anxiety, or stress and is more evident in specific parts of the body such as the palms, soles, and axillae. During emotional sweating, humans release many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could play a crucial role as possible com-municative signals of specific emotions. In this preliminary study, we investigated seven volatiles belonging to the chemical class of acids and released from the armpit as possible stress biomarkers. To this aim, we processed sweat VOCs and physiological stress correlates such as heart rate variability (HRV), electrodermal activity, and thermal imaging during a Stroop color-word test. Particularly, we modelled the variability of well-known stress markers extracted from the physiological signals as a function of the acid VOCs by means of LASSO regression. LASSO results revealed that the dodecanoic acid was the only selected regressor and it was able to significantly explain more than 64 % of the variance of both the mean temperature of the tip of the nose (p=0.018, R2=0.64) and of the mean HRV (p=0.011, R2=0.67). Although preliminary, our results suggest that dodecanoic acid could be a marker of the sympathetic nervous system response to stress stimuli, opening for the detection of new biomarkers of stress.

Potential physiological stress biomarkers in human sweat

Gioia, Federica;Callara, Alejandro Luis;Bruderer, Tobias;Ripszam, Matyas;Di Francesco, Fabio;Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale;Greco, Alberto
2022-01-01

Abstract

Emotional sweating occurs in response to affective stimuli like fear, anxiety, or stress and is more evident in specific parts of the body such as the palms, soles, and axillae. During emotional sweating, humans release many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could play a crucial role as possible com-municative signals of specific emotions. In this preliminary study, we investigated seven volatiles belonging to the chemical class of acids and released from the armpit as possible stress biomarkers. To this aim, we processed sweat VOCs and physiological stress correlates such as heart rate variability (HRV), electrodermal activity, and thermal imaging during a Stroop color-word test. Particularly, we modelled the variability of well-known stress markers extracted from the physiological signals as a function of the acid VOCs by means of LASSO regression. LASSO results revealed that the dodecanoic acid was the only selected regressor and it was able to significantly explain more than 64 % of the variance of both the mean temperature of the tip of the nose (p=0.018, R2=0.64) and of the mean HRV (p=0.011, R2=0.67). Although preliminary, our results suggest that dodecanoic acid could be a marker of the sympathetic nervous system response to stress stimuli, opening for the detection of new biomarkers of stress.
2022
978-1-6654-8299-8
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1167733
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