Cortisol levels during human aging predict hippocampal atrophy and memory deficits Academic Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH Major

  • Aging
  • Hippocampus
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Memory Disorders

abstract

  • Elevated glucocorticoid levels produce hippocampal dysfunction and correlate with individual deficits in spatial learning in aged rats. Previously we related persistent cortisol increases to memory impairments in elderly humans studied over five years. Here we demonstrate that aged humans with significant prolonged cortisol elevations showed reduced hippocampal volume and deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory tasks compared to normal-cortisol controls. Moreover, the degree of hippocampal atrophy correlated strongly with both the degree of cortisol elevation over time and current basal cortisol levels. Therefore, basal cortisol elevation may cause hippocampal damage and impair hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in humans.

publication date

  • January 1998

Research

keywords

  • Academic Article

Identity

Language

  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/271

PubMed ID

  • 10195112

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 69

end page

  • 73

volume

  • 1

number

  • 1