Clinical and pathological data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project were used to test the hypothesis that distress proneness is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). More than 600 older persons without dementia completed a 6-item measure of neuroticism, a stable indicator of proneness to psychological distress. At annual intervals thereafter, they underwent uniform evaluations that included clinical classification of AD and administration of 18 cognitive tests. Those who died underwent brain autopsy from which composite measures of AD pathology were derived. During a mean of about 3 years of follow-up, 55 people were clinically diagnosed with AD. In analyses that controlled for age, sex, and education, persons with a high level of distress proneness (score = 24, 90th percentile) were 2.7 times more likely to develop AD than those not prone to distress (score = 6, 10th percentile). Adjustment for depressive symptomatology or frequency of cognitive, social, and physical activity did not substantially change this effect. Distress proneness was also associated with more rapid cognitive decline. Among 45 participants who died and underwent brain autopsy, distress proneness was unrelated to diverse measures of AD pathology and was inversely related to cognition after controlling for AD pathology. The results support the hypothesis that distress proneness is associated with increased risk of dementia and suggest that neurobiologic mechanisms other than AD pathology may underlie the association.
"According to leading stress researcher Robert Sapolsky Ph.D., a stressor can be defined physiologically as any perturbation from the outside world that disrupts homeostasis . Beyond the physical, stress can also be psychological or emotional and the potency and pathogenicity of psychological stress cannot be ignored, as it may increase the risk of developing AD . Modern stress research is considered to have begun in the last century with the work of Walter B. Cannon , and later recognized as the first stage of Selye's general adaptation syndrome . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although meditation is believed to be over five thousand years old, scientific research on it is in its infancy. Mitigating the extensive negative biochemical effects of stress is a superficially discussed target of Alzheimer's disease (AD) prevention, yet may be critically important. This paper reviews lifestyle and stress as possible factors contributing to AD and meditation's effects on cognition and well-being for reduction of neurodegeneration and prevention of AD. This review highlights Kirtan Kriya (KK), an easy, cost effective meditation technique requiring only 12 minutes a day, which has been successfully employed to improve memory in studies of people with subjective cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and highly stressed caregivers, all of whom are at increased risk for subsequent development of AD. KK has also been shown to improve sleep, decrease depression, reduce anxiety, down regulate inflammatory genes, upregulate immune system genes, improve insulin and glucose regulatory genes, and increase telomerase by 43%; the largest ever recorded. KK also improves psycho-spiritual well-being or spiritual fitness, important for maintenance of cognitive function and prevention of AD. KK is easy to learn and practice by aging individuals. It is the premise of this review that meditation in general, and KK specifically, along with other modalities such as dietary modification, physical exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization, may be beneficial as part of an AD prevention program.
"The link between distress and the diagnosis of dementia remained after controlling for depression, levels of social and physical activity, and recency of cognitive symptoms. Echoing their prior work, the authors concluded that psychological distress is associated with cognitive decline, but not specifically with AD . Peavy and colleagues performed a 3-year longitudinal study on 52 individuals, who were either cognitively intact or evidencing signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological consequences of acute and chronic stress on a range of organ systems have been well documented after the pioneering work of Hans Selye more than 70 years ago. More recently, an association between exposure to stressful life events and the development of later-life cognitive dysfunction has been proposed. Several plausible neurohormonal pathways and genetic mechanisms exist to support such an association. However, many logistical and methodological barriers must be overcome before a defined causal linkage can be firmly established. Here the authors review recent studies of the long-term cognitive consequences of exposures to cumulative ordinary life stressors as well as extraordinary traumatic events leading to posttraumatic stress disorder. Suggestive effects have been demonstrated for the role of life stress in general, and posttraumatic stress disorder in particular, on a range of negative cognitive outcomes, including worse than normal changes with aging, Alzheimer's disease, and vascular dementia. However, given the magnitude of the issue, well-controlled studies are relatively few in number, and the effects they have revealed are modest in size. Moreover, the effects have typically only been demonstrated on a selective subset of measures and outcomes. Potentially confounding factors abound and complicate causal relationships despite efforts to contain them. More well-controlled, carefully executed longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the apparent association between stress and dementia, clarify causal relationships, develop reliable antemortem markers, and delineate distinct patterns of risk in subsets of individuals.
Alzheimer's and Dementia 06/2014; 10(3):S155–S165. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.04.008 · 12.41 Impact Factor
"The rate of cognitive decline (disease progression) in 329 AD patients (214 from ANM, 87 from ARUK, and 28 from DCR) was calculated based on longitudinal MMSE assessments . For the ANM cohort, MMSE scores were gathered at five visits, in which visits were 3 months apart (1-year follow-up). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blood proteins and their complexes have become the focus of a great deal of interest in the context of their potential as biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We used a SOMAscan assay for quantifying 1001 proteins in blood samples from 331 AD, 211 controls, and 149 mild cognitive impaired (MCI) subjects. The strongest associations of protein levels with AD outcomes were prostate-specific antigen complexed to α1-antichymotrypsin (AD diagnosis), pancreatic prohormone (AD diagnosis, left entorhinal cortex atrophy, and left hippocampus atrophy), clusterin (rate of cognitive decline), and fetuin B (left entorhinal atrophy). Multivariate analysis found that a subset of 13 proteins predicted AD with an accuracy of area under the curve of 0.70. Our replication of previous findings provides further evidence that levels of these proteins in plasma are truly associated with AD. The newly identified proteins could be potential biomarkers and are worthy of further investigation.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 04/2014; 10(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2013.09.016 · 12.41 Impact Factor
Megan E Lenehan, Mathew J Summers, Nichole L Saunders, Jeffery J Summers, David D Ward, Karen Ritchie, James C Vickers,
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