Psychosomatic reactions to a stressful environment and an attempt at pharmacological modification

Med Sci Monit. 2001 Sep-Oct;7(5):953-61.


Background: Extreme environmental conditions significantly influence the functioning of the human organism and trigger distinct stress reactions. In our study we attempted to create an experimental model of complex stress conditions.

Material and methods: Healthy male volunteers were isolated, deprived of food and sleep, and exposed to extreme temperatures for 5 consecutive days. Physical fitness and selected somatic parameters and biochemical stress markers were measured in the tested subjects. In addition, changes in behavior and mental status were assessed by means of a set of psychological tests. Finally, the effects of pharmacological modification (administration of clobazam and tramadol) on psychosomatic stress reactions were tested.

Conclusions: The results indicate that our experimental stress conditions slightly altered the mental functions of the subjects, increased their anxiety level, hampered their physical efficiency, and led to weight loss. The administration of the drugs beneficially influenced the subjects' memory and physical efficiency.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / urine
  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Benzodiazepines*
  • Body Weight
  • Clobazam
  • Exercise
  • Food Deprivation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychological Tests
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Temperature
  • Tramadol / therapeutic use*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Narcotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Clobazam
  • Tramadol