A new study at UCSD has found that APOE positive individuals perform poorly on cognitive tests in the presence of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva.
The researchers analyzed a large population of 962 individuals. Research concerning the mechanisms by which chronic stress influences pathological aging and cognitive decline is important for determining interventions, either pharmacological or behavioral.
The growing evidence of significant relationships between chronic stress and cognitive changes may be particularly important in the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent animal studies have shown associations between chronic stress and neuropathological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including synapse loss, increases in amyloid-β peptide, and tau accumulation and phosphorylation. Clearly, there are many factors that lead to the pathology and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, including environmental and genetic factors.