Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's: High Stress And Genetic Risk Factor Lead To Increased Memory Decline

Date:
August 28, 2007
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
High stress levels may contribute to memory loss among people at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The 4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene contributes to the risk for memory loss related to Alzheimer's disease. Similarly, high circulating levels of cortisol, associated with high stress levels, also impairs memory.

High stress levels may contribute to memory loss among people at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The 4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene contributes to the risk for memory loss related to Alzheimer's disease. Similarly, high circulating levels of cortisol, associated with high stress levels, also impairs memory. However, the interactive effects of this risk genotype and chronic stress are not well understood, so a new study being published in the September 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry was designed to explore this relationship.

Related Articles


In their study, Peavy and colleagues performed genotyping and measured the chronic stress level in 91 older, healthy subjects (mean age was 78.8 years). Those low on stress or without the APOE-4 risk factor performed better on memory measures than those with high stress or those positive for APOE-4, respectively. Those individuals experiencing high stress and who were positive for APOE-4 showed the greatest memory impairment.

One of the authors, Guerry M Peavy, Ph.D., comments, "Perhaps the most interesting result of the study was the interaction we found between genetic status and the experience of high stress events. That is, for some aspects of memory, highly stressful experiences had a detrimental effect only on those individuals who carried the APOE-4 allele."

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, adds:

This is a very exciting time in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research...The findings of Peavy et al. suggest that environmental factors, like chronic stress, may interact with an AD risk genotype, APOE-4, to promote age-related memory impairment. These data raise the possibility that psycho-social interventions and psychotherapeutic medications might enhance the effectiveness of medication treatment strategies aimed at preserving memory function in older adults.

As noted in their article, because APOE-4 status and high stress levels can be assessed at any time, these findings may represent an advantage with the earlier identification of elderly individuals who do not yet meet criteria for dementia, but who clearly are more cognitively vulnerable. Dr. Peavy explains, "The results of the study have implications for interventions that could prevent harmful responses to stressful experiences and, as a result, could prevent or slow the progression of cognitive changes in genetically vulnerable, older individuals." For now, longitudinal studies need to be undertaken to determine if these interactive effects of stress and APOE-4 status become predictors of a clinical diagnosis of dementia.

The article is "The Effects of Prolonged Stress and APOE Genotype on Memory and Cortisol in Older Adults" by Guerry M. Peavy, Kelly L. Lange, David P. Salmon, Thomas L. Patterson, Sherry Goldman, Anthony C. Gamst, Paul J. Mills, Srikrishna Khandrika and Douglas Galasko. Drs. Peavy, Lange, Salmon, Gamst and Galasko are with the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California in San Diego, California. Dr. Gamst is also affiliated with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Drs. Patterson, Goldman, and Mills are with the Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Khandrika is with the Department of Medicine in the Clinical Research Center, also at the University of California in San Diego. Drs. Patterson, Goldman, and Galasko are also affiliated with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Diego. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 62, Issue 5 (September 1, 2007), published by Elsevier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Alzheimer's: High Stress And Genetic Risk Factor Lead To Increased Memory Decline." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827095121.htm>.
Elsevier. (2007, August 28). Alzheimer's: High Stress And Genetic Risk Factor Lead To Increased Memory Decline. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827095121.htm
Elsevier. "Alzheimer's: High Stress And Genetic Risk Factor Lead To Increased Memory Decline." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827095121.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She saw the ocean for the first time thanks to her assisted living center and a group that grants wishes to the elderly. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) Artist Nickolay Lamm's Kickstarter-funded Lammily doll, based on his 'What Would Barbie Look Like as a Real Woman' project, is finally available to buy. Jen Markham explains how the doll's realistic proportions are going over with a test group of second-graders who are used to the impossible measurements of Barbie dolls. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trans-Fat Foods Now Linked To Poor Memory

Trans-Fat Foods Now Linked To Poor Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) A study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions shows a link between diets high in trans fats and decreased memory recall. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins