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Role of stress in dementia investigated

by admin | 26th June 2012

Role of stress in dementia investigated

UK experts are to begin a study to find out if stress can trigger dementia.

The investigation, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, will monitor 140 people with mild cognitive impairment or “pre-dementia” and look at how stress affects their condition.

The researchers will take blood and saliva samples at six-monthly intervals over the 18 months of the study to measure biological markers of stress.

They hope their work will reveal ways to prevent dementia.

The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition, they say.

Dementia triggers

People who have mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of going on to develop dementia – although some will remain stable and others may improve.

Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – are also potential factors”Prof Clive Holmes Lead of the new investigation

And past work suggests mid-life stress may increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

A Swedish study that followed nearly 1,500 women for a period of 35 years found the risk of dementia was about 65% higher in women who reported repeated periods of stress in middle age than in those who did not.

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Page last updated: June 26th, 2012 at 6:01 am