Loading Please wait, logging in.
Join ALFA Member Login RSS Feed
Tagline Image
Bookmark and Share  

Chronic Stress May Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Says

New research has found that stress-induced hormones produced by the brain can increase an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s in individuals already suffering from the disease.

While previous reports have linked elevated levels of stress with an increased risk in an individual developing dementia, this study is the first to discover the precise mechanism that causes stress-induced Alzheimer’s disease.

When the brain is stressed, it produces steroids that can inhibit general brain activity. One of such steroids, allopregnanolon, was the subject of a study led by Swedish researcher Sara K. Bengtsson.

In order to test how and why stress can lead to dementia later in life, the research team conducted a laboratory experiment on mice genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer’s disease. The mice were treated chronically with elevated allopregnanolone levels, comparable to those caused by mild stress. After a period of no steroid treatment, the mice were tested for learning and memory.

The mice with elevated levels of the stress steroid experienced impaired memory and learning in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s development, when they normally would not display these symptoms. The brains of the mice also displayed higher levels of beta-amyloids, proteins that form plaques between nerve cells in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers noted that a similar acceleration of Alzheimer's disease in humans due to chronic stress could mean the difference between living independently and requiring professional care.

Bengtsson concluded that allopregnanolone is an important link in the mechanism behind stress-induced Alzheimer’s disease, but that further studies would be required to uncover the full extent of its influence.

Read the study abstract: Stress Steroids as Accelerators of Alzheimer's Disease- Effects of Chronically Elevated Levels of Allopregnanolone in Transgenic AD Models.



Suggested Articles:

9/28/2016
Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, News, Reports, Research
According to the report, currently only half of those in high income countries and one in 10 or less in low and middle income countries have received ...
9/28/2016
Active & Engaged Seniors, Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News, Quality of Life
Scripted Improv is a federally funded clinical study on systematic non-pharmacological engagement treatment for people experiencing dementia.
9/15/2016
Active & Engaged Seniors, Community Awareness and Education, Federal Agency Activity, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News
The National Institute on Aging has launched the third phase of an initiative to better understand Alzheimer’s disease by identifying and validating b...
9/15/2016
Facts and Figures, Human Resources, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, News, Research, Staffing & Performance
In 2012, more than 2.5 million Medicare beneficiaries had a dementia diagnosis, according to a new study published in JAMDA (Journal of American Medic...
9/15/2016
Executive Talent Management, Health Care, Human Resources, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Management, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, News, Organization Development, Staffing, Staffing & Performance
Senior Living Executive magazine recently spoke with memory care and human resource experts in senior living about what they look for in excellent mem...
03/19/2013


Additional Resources