“Brief Stresses Experimental Study”
The goal of this study is to examine the impact of psychological stress on DNA integrity by conducting an experiment under controlled conditions with healthy volunteers to directly test the extent to which acute stress increases DNA damage, while simultaneously testing the blocking effects of pre-treatment with propranolol, and exploring key hypothesized mediators and moderators of the severity of the DNA damage.
Drug - Propranolol
A single oral dose (80mg) of propranolol will be administered in a blinded capsule at the start of the baseline monitoring period of the acute stress study visit.
Drug - Placebo oral capsule
A single blinded capsule containing no active medication will be administered at the start of the baseline monitoring period of the acute stress study visit.
Behavioral - Acute stress task
Participants will complete speech and arithmetic tasks, performed in front of an audience (e.g., researcher staff members) and recorded by a video camera to assess non-verbal behaviors and evaluate performance. The task will be initiated following completion of baseline sample collection during the acute stress study visit and will take approximately 15 minutes.
Behavioral - No stress task
Participants will sit quietly for 5 minutes, read a short passage aloud for 5 minutes, and read a list of numbers aloud for 5 minutes. The task will be initiated following completion of baseline sample collection during the no stress study visit and will take approximately 15 minutes.
Brief Stresses and DNA Integrity: An Experimental Analysis