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. 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.
A 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.
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. Not much more to say. Want some advice. Read my post on Caring.com on living a meaningful (and less stressful) life.