While stress has traditionally been found to cause the development of disorders such as depression and anxiety, researchers have also found a connection exists between stress and the development of Alzheimer's disease.
A new study conducted by scientists at Trinity College Dublin, released on World Alzheimer's Day (Sept. 21), finds that when a person is under pressure or stress, a hormone called corticotrophin is released. The hormone triggers the production of amyloid beta which clumps together to form proteins that are known to cause memory loss.
When researchers exposed lab mice to stress, they displayed more amyloid beta clumps than mice who were exposed to little or no stress. The same was found when researchers tested human brain cells, the study stated.
"Given the recent advances in clinical trials of anti-amyloid beta antibodies, we hope our findings may lead to improved and adjunctive forms of therapy for this devastating condition," Research Assistant Professor Matthew Campbell, PhD, said in a press release. "Our recent findings have highlighted the importance of understanding diseases at the molecular level."