Dissident AIDS Database

Co-factorsStressPsychological stressDementia
Dexamethasone resistance among nonhuman primates associated with a selective decrease of glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus and a history of social instability.
 Brooke SM, de Haas-Johnson AM, Kaplan JR, Manuck SB, Sapolsky RM
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  Neuroendocrinology;1994 Aug; 60(2):134-40.1994
Neurobiology of learning and memory
 Gold P
  While cortisol has been studied the most, epinephrine, the other major hormone released in times of stress, also causes brain atrophy and impaired brain function, as has been indicated by controlled animal experiments. Gold performed such an experiment using epinephrine injections:"a single injection of epinephrine results in long lasting change in brain function... The findings suggest that some hormonal responses may not only regulate neuronal changes responsible for memory storage but may also themselves initiate long-lasting alterations in neuronal function."
  Memory modulation, neurobiological contexts. In Lynch, McGaugh, & Weinberger (Eds.), 1984, New York: Guilford.1984
Cerebral atrophy in young torture victims.
 Jensen TS, Genefke IK, Hyldebrandt N et al.
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported. "Examination of torture victims throughout the world has revealed a high incidence of late physical and neuropsychiatric sequelae. The most prominent mental and neurologic symptoms are impaired memory and ability to concentrate, headache, anxiety, depression, asthenia (loss of strength), sleep disturbances, cerebral asthenopia (aching and burning of the eyes), and sexual dysfunction. These conditions are present in other conditions in which brain atrophy or intellectual impairment or both are frequent findings."
  New England Journal of Medicine; 1982; 307:1341.1982
Regulation of serotonin1A, glucocorticoid, and mineralocorticoid receptor in rat and human hippocampus: implications for the neurobiology of depression.
 Lopez JF, Chalmers DT, Little KY, Watson SJ
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  Biol Psychiatry ; 1998 Apr 15; 43(8):547-73.1998
Chronic stress alters synaptic terminal structure in the hippocampus.
 Magarinos AM, Verdugo JM, McEwen BS
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA; 1997; 9;94(25): 14002-14008.1997
Hippocampal damage associated with prolonged glucocorticoid exposure in primates.
 Sapolsky RM, Uno H, Rebert CS, Finch CE
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  J Neurosci ; 1990 Sep; 10(9):2897-902.1990
Why stress is bad for your brain.
 Sapolsky RM
  "Excessive exposure to Glucocordicoids (GCs) has adverse effects in the rodent brain, particularly in the hippocampus, a structure vital to learning and memory... Over the course of weeks, excess GC reversibly causes atrophy of hippocampal dendrites, whereas as GC overexposure for months can cause permanent loss of hippocampal neurons... A first example by Sheline and colleagues concerns major depression (Sheline 1996). Approximately half of depressed patients studied secrete abnormally high amounts of GCs... The authors of the new study report MRIs with far more resolution than in previous studies and have excluded individuals with neurologic, metabolic, or endocrine diseases. They have found significant reductions in the volume of both hippocampi... The authors ruled out alcohol or substance abuse, electrocunvulsive therapy, and current use of antidepressants. Remarkably, there was a significant correlation between the duration of the depression and the extent of atrophy. A similar relation was seen in patients with Cushing's syndrome (where) there is bilateral hippocampal atrophy (Starkman 1992)... The extent of GC hypersecretion correlated with the extent of hippocampal atrophy, which also correlated with the extent of impairment in hippocampal dependent cognition... In Vietnam combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Bremner et al (1995) found a significant 8% atrophy of the right hippocampus, and near significant atrophy in the left. In (another study) Gurvits et al. (1996) also examined Vietnam veterans with PTSD and found significant 22 and 26% reductions in volumes of the right and left hippocampi. Finally, in another study... Bremner et al (1996) found a 12% atrophy in adults with PTSD due to childhood abuse... These studies controlled for age, gender, education, and alcohol abuse..."
  Science; 1996, August 9 273; 749-750.1996
Influence of chronic variable stress (CVS) on the association of glucocorticoid receptor with heat-shock protein (HSP) 90 in rat hippocampus
 Sasuga Y, Asakura M, Miyamoto S, Bodaiji N
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi ;1997 Oct; 17(5):193-2001997
Hippocampal formation volume, memory dysfunction, and cortisol levels in patients with Cushing's syndrome.
 Starkman MN, Gebarski SS, Berent S et al.
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported."Significant correlations between elevated cortisol levels and severity of hippocampal atrophy have been reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease, as well. In a broader context, it should be noted that the role of cortisol in cognitive dysfunction likely extends beyond its specific effects on the hippocampus. For example, CT scans revealed ventricular enlargement and cortical atrophy in patients with yhypercortisolism due to Cushing's disease. In primary depressive disorder, patients with abnormally high cortisol were more likely to have larger ventricles, as measured by ventricle to brain ratios (VBRs), and those patients with large VBRs demonstrated greater global cognitive impairment."
  Biological Psychiatry; 1992; 32: 756-765.1992
Hippocampal damage associated with prolonged and fatal stress in primates.
 Uno H et al.
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  J Neurosci;1989, May; 9(5):1705-1711.1989
Differential effects of chronic stress on memory processes in the tree shrew.
 Ohl F, Fuchs E
  Chronic psychological stress, and the resultant hypercortisolism, induces brain damage characterized by atrophy of cortical neurons, especially in the hippocampus (the region of the brain that controls learning and memory) and enlargement of the ventricles in the brain. Dementia is a classic finding in people diagnosed with AIDS, and similar changes in the brain have been reported.
  Brain Res Cogn Brain Res; 1999 Jan7, (3):379-87.1999
Abnormal cortisol response in Alzheimer's disease linked to hippocampal atrophy.
 DeLeon MJ, McRae T, Tsai JR et al.
  Alzheimer's patients have also been found to have hippocampal atrophy whose severity correlated with high cortisol levels (DeLeon 1988), and people with depression have been found to have enlarged ventricles and greater cognitive impairment if their cortisol levels were elevated.
  Lancet 2; 1988; 391-392.1988
Psychological and neuroendocrinological sequelae of early social deprivation in institutionalized children in Romania.
 Carlson M & Earls F
  "The most profound similarity with the work in rodents is the finding of significant hippocampal shrinkage in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. The presence of shrinkage is strongly associated with declarative memory deficits... Both changes in hippocampal volume and verbal memory loss have been associated with the degree of cortisol elevation in adults with Cushing's disease. Elevated levels of cortisol associated with memory impairment are seen in depressed adults and adolescents, and elevated levels of exogenous glucocordicoids administered for control of asthma have been shown to produce memory deficits and other cognitive changes in children."
  NY Acad of Sciences; 1997; 807; 419-428.1997