How does stress impact pathological processes in Alzheimer's disease?
Brain changes associated with stress may increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease, or make it worse. This makes the stress hormone system an exciting target for new drugs, but more work is required to understand how such drugs might work. This study will investigate how the stress hormone system impacts production and accumulation of a molecule, amyloid beta, which builds up abnormally in brain cells during Alzheimer’s disease. This study will also determine whether this happens ‘vice versa’, so that amyloid beta abnormalities change the sensitivity of brain cells to stress. By performing these experiments, we hope to lay the groundwork for new therapies for reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease and slowing its progression.
Duncan Sinclair is a researcher and lecturer at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania.