Yawning, fatigue, and cortisol: Expanding the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis

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Authors: Thompson, S.B.N.

Journal: Medical Hypotheses

Volume: 83

Issue: 4

Pages: 494-496

eISSN: 1532-2777

ISSN: 0306-9877

DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.009

© 2014 The Author. Yawning and its involvement in neurological disorders has become the new scientific conundrum. Cortisol levels are known to rise during stress and fatigue; yawning may occur when we are under stress or tired. However, the link between yawning, fatigue, and cortisol has not been fully understood. Expansion of the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis proposes that the stress hormone, cortisol, is responsible for yawning and fatigue especially in people with incomplete innervation such as multiple sclerosis. This informs our understanding of the functional importance of the brain stem region of the brain in regulating stress and fatigue.

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