Document Detail

Basal cortisol levels and cognitive deficits in human aging.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8182446     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A group of 19 healthy elderly subjects previously shown to differ in terms of their cortisol levels over a 4 year period were administered a neuropsychological test battery assessing memory, attention, and language. Correlational analyses performed on various corticosteroid measures showed that the slope of the change in cortisol levels over time predicted cognitive deficits in this elderly population. Aged subjects showing a significant increase in cortisol levels with years and with high current basal cortisol levels were impaired on tasks measuring explicit memory and selective attention when compared to aged subjects presenting either decreasing cortisol levels with years or increasing cortisol levels with moderate current basal cortisol levels. We further showed that subjects presenting a decrease in cortisol levels with years performed as well as young healthy subjects with regard to cognitive performance. Thus, impaired cognitive performance was associated with recent evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) dysregulation and elevated basal cortisol levels. These results are consistent with recent animal studies showing the existence of subpopulations of aged rats that differ in HPA activity and cognitive performance. Finally, the pattern of cognitive results related to the cortisol history of subjects is in agreement with a role played by the hippocampus in age-related HPA dysfunction and cognitive performance.
S Lupien; A R Lecours; I Lussier; G Schwartz; N P Nair; M J Meaney
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0270-6474     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  1994 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-06-14     Completed Date:  1994-06-14     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2893-903     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratoire Théophile-Alajouanine, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*,  psychology*
Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
Hydrocortisone / blood*
Intelligence Tests
Longitudinal Studies
Memory / physiology*
Middle Aged
Neuropsychological Tests
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

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