Holocaust survivors with PTSD appear to show an accelerated aging effect as evidenced by their performance on tests of explicit memory, and also show more exaggerated patterns on age-related alterations in cortisol release over the diurnal cycle than Holocaust survivors without PTSD and nonexposed subjects. To investigate the implications of age-related HPA axis alterations on cognition, we examined correlations between parameters reflecting circadian cortisol release and implicit and explicit memory performance.
Nineteen Holocaust survivors with PTSD (7 men, 12 women), 16 Holocaust survivors without PTSD (7 men, 9 women), and 28 non-exposed healthy comparison subjects (13 men, 15 women) collected salivary samples at six times over the diurnal cycle, and were tested with Paired Associates and Word Stem Completion Tests.
Negative correlations were observed between several measures of salivary cortisol concentrations and explicit memory in Holocaust survivors with PTSD after adjusting for IQ, years of education and current age reflecting poorer performance in association with higher cortisol levels. This relationship was absent in Holocaust survivors without PTSD and in demographically-comparable subjects who were not exposed to the Holocaust or other extremely traumatic events.
The significantly different relationship between cortisol and memory performance in these groups suggests that the neuropsychological impairments observed in Holocaust survivors with PTSD may reflect an interaction of PTSD and aging effects.
"Variations in this diurnal profile have been shown to be related to a number of clinical conditions . In particular, a flatter profile has been observed in people with depression , breast cancer , PTSD , and under severe parenting stress . Despite the demonstrated sensitivity of the cortisol diurnal rhythm to psychosocial factors and clinical conditions, it has not attracted due attention in geriatric research until recently . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychobiological research on aging in humans has been confounded by individual differences that have not been adequately characterized in the literature. This paper is an attempt to shed light on this issue by examining the impact of social network characteristics predictive of successful aging on salivary cortisol among 78 older Chinese people in Hong Kong. Eight salivary cortisol samples were collected each day for two consecutive days from immediately after awakening to 12 hours later. Two components of the cortisol diurnal cycle, response to awakening and diurnal decline, were examined in relation to social network characteristics including size, emotional support, and cultivation. ANOVAs with repeated measured were run to examine influences of the three social network characteristics on the cortisol awakening response and diurnal decline, with the effects of gender, age, socioeconomic status, and waking time controlled. Results indicated that those who spent more time and effort in developing and strengthening their social ties (i.e., those high in "cultivation") exhibited a significantly greater rise in cortisol in the morning and a significantly steeper decline over the day, thus attesting to more effective activation and deactivation of the HPA axis. Network cultivation reflected a positive motivation to nurture social relationships more than the other two network characteristics. Its effect on cortisol might stem from the positivity underlying the motivation.
The Scientific World Journal 03/2012; 2012:929067. DOI:10.1100/2012/929067 · 1.73 Impact Factor
"Studies that included trauma-exposed participants with current MDD were excluded unless only a small minority (<10%) of TE participants met criteria for current MDD (Yehuda et al., 2005); for studies in which current MDD was not assessed, TE groups were included if they represented a sufficiently large sample size (n >70) for expected rates of MDD to exert minimal influence on cortisol outcomes (Boscarino, 1996; Pervanidou et al., 2007). One study included TE participants with current dysthymia (De Bellis et al., 1994); removing this study did not significantly alter results. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to traumatic stress is associated with increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alterations of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) function. Research linking traumatic stress with HPA function in PTSD has been inconsistent, however, in part due to (a) the inclusion of trauma-exposed individuals without PTSD (TE) in control groups and (b) a failure to consider comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD) and moderating variables. This meta-analysis of 47 studies (123 effect sizes, N=6008 individuals) revealed that daily cortisol output was lower for PTSD (d=-.36, SE=.15, p=.008) and PTSD+MDD (d=-.65, SE=.25, p=.008) groups relative to no trauma controls (NTC); TE and NTC groups did not differ significantly from each other. Afternoon/evening cortisol was lower in TE (d=-.25, SE=.09, p=.007) and PTSD (d=-.27, SE=.12, p=.021) groups and higher in PTSD+MDD groups (d=.49, SE=.24, p=.041) relative to NTC. Post-DST cortisol levels were lower in PTSD (d=-.40, SE=.12, p<.001), PTSD+MDD (d=-.65, SE=.14, p<.001), and TE groups (d=-.53, SE=.14, p<.001) relative to NTC. HPA effect sizes were moderated by age, sex, time since index event, and developmental timing of trauma exposure. These findings suggest that enhanced HPA feedback function may be a marker of trauma-exposure rather than a specific mechanism of vulnerability for PTSD, whereas lower daily cortisol output may be associated with PTSD in particular.
"Multiple studies have demonstrated verbal declarative memory deficits related to PTSD, in samples of adult patients with PTSD related to combat,2-9 childhood abuse,10-11 rape,12 political violence,13 and the Holocaust.14-15 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Declarative memory dysfunction is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This paper reviews this literature and presents two frameworks to explain the nature of this dysfunction: that memory deficits are a product of neurobiological abnormalities caused by PTSD and/or that pre-existing memory deficits serve as a risk factor for the development of PTSD following trauma exposure. Brain regions implicated in declarative memory deficits include the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and imaging and biochemistry studies as they relate to memory dysfunction are described. Prospective and twin studies provide support for a risk factor model.
Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 09/2011; 13(3):346-51.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.