Friday, March 15, 2013

Chronic Stress Accelerates Alzheimer’s Disease


Why does chronic stress lead to increased risk for dementia?

The answer may lie in the elevation of stress steroids that is seen in the brain during stress, Sara K. Bengtsson suggests in the thesis she is defending at Umeå University in Sweden on March 22nd.

These stress steroids can inhibit the general brain activity. Allopregnanolon is one of them, and the doctoral thesis shows that chronically elevated levels of allopregnanolone accelerated the disease development in two transgenic Alzheimer disease models. The Alzheimer mice responded with impaired learning and memory. They had also increased brain levels of beta-amyloids, i.e. the proteins that form plaques in Alzheimer's disease.

The thesis also demonstrates that high levels of beta-amyloids corresponded to dysfunction among brain synapses. This was seen after a period of chronically elevated levels of allopregnanolon, but not after placebo treatment. The effects were identified early in the disease development when the animals normally have intact memory function. A similar acceleration of AD in humans could mean the difference between living self-sufficiently at home and living with requirements of professional care.


The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Umeå universitet.

Read the thesis or abstract HERE 


Blissing Out

10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress On-the-Spot

If your hectic lifestyle has got you down, experts say relaxation techniques can bring you back into balance -- some in five minutes or less.

1. Meditate

2. Picture Yourself Relaxed

3. Breathe Deeply

4. Mindfulness

5. Drink Hot Tea

6. Show Some Love

7. Try Self-Massage

8. Take a Time-Out

9. Try a Musical Detour

10. Take an Attitude Break

Click HERE for details of each of these 10 steps by Jenny Stamos Kovacs of WebMD 

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