Stress may aggravate
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IANS: Don't stress yourself too much, else an
increased release of stress hormones could trigger Alzheimer's disease, to go by
new research based on mice.
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany, have discovered
that increased release of stress hormones in rats leads to production of excess
tau protein in the brain and ultimately, memory loss.
Clumps of protein deposits in nerve cells are a typical feature of Alzheimer's
disease, caused by overabundance of tau protein, the Journal of Neuroscience
As a result, nerve cells die, particularly in the hippocampus, a part of the
brain that plays an important role in learning and memory, as well as in the
prefrontal cortex which regulates higher cognitive functions, according to a Max
"Our findings show that stress hormones and stress can cause changes in the tau
protein like those that arise in Alzheimer's disease", explains Osborne Almeida
from the Max Planck Institute.
These Munich-based researchers, along with colleagues from University of Minho
in Portugal, have shown that stress, and the hormones released during stress,
can accelerate the development of Alzheimer disease-like biochemical and
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