Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Alzheimer’s findings: High stress + genetic risk factor = increased memory decline

High stress levels may contribute to memory loss among people at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The e4 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.

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-e4 risk factor performed better on memory measures than those with high stress or those positive for APOE-e4, respectively. Those individuals experiencing high stress and who were positive for APOE-e4 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-e4 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-e4, 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-e4 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-e4 status become predictors of a clinical diagnosis of dementia.

Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>