Tags: Stress | May | Cause | Alzheimer's

Stress May Cause Alzheimer's

Wednesday, 27 June 2007 12:00 AM

The kind of stress we commonly experience in modern daily life may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. They report that stress may lead to the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the markers of Alzheimer's.

"A long-term study of about 800 members of religious orders had found that the people who were most prone to stress were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, but the nature of the link between the two has been elusive," said Paul Sawchenko, Ph.D., leader of the study.

The group's findings suggest that the negative emotions of stress do their damage to the brain by being relayed through part of the brain's "central switchboard" that mediates the body's reaction to stress. The parts of the switchboard involved are corticotrophin-releasing factor receptors called CRFR1 and CRFR2. Genetically-modified mice were used to confirm the action of stress on these receptors and the subsequent accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles.

Several pharmaceutical companies are already developing drugs that bind CFR receptors for treatment of other disorders such as depression. The research team believes these drugs might also be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Sawchenko said, "We may have discovered another application. Such drugs could have a prophylactic effect or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease."

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The kind of stress we commonly experience in modern daily life may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. They report that stress may lead to the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles,...
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2007-00-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 12:00 AM
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