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Acute stress response and memory performance in healthy elderly: influence of socio-demographic characteristics and coping resources

Grant number: 10/20515-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2011 - July 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nursing
Principal researcher:Juliana Nery de Souza Talarico
Grantee:Juliana Nery de Souza Talarico
Home Institution: Escola de Enfermagem (EE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Ana Lucia Siqueira Costa Calache


Several studies have suggested that the wide cognitive variability among aged individuals cpuld be partially explained by stress exposure. Animal and human evidence demonstrates that glucocorticoids (GCs), the main class of stress hormones, are strongly linked with memory impairment in normal and pathological cognitive aging. Socio-demographic characteristics such as education level and social economic status, as well as coping resources stress may influence the association between GCs and cognitive performance in young adults. However, this issue remains unclear in elderly subjects. Hence, the main goal of this study is to analyze the relationship between neuroendocrine stress response and memory performance and their association to socio-demographic characteristics and coping resources in healthy elderly. Thus, 100 elderly without cognitive impairment or neurological/psychiatric disorders will be evaluated. Saliva samples will be collected to verify cortisol levels face an acute psychosocial stressor ("Trier Social Stress Test" - TSST) and applied instruments for memory assessment, socio-demographic characteristics and coping evaluation. It has been hypothesized that the cognitive performance variability in the elderly could be partially explained by the influence of stress whose alterations in the neuroendocrine reaction may be associated with worst memory performance. Furthermore, it has been propose that this relationship may be modulate by factors such as the subjective perceived stress regarding their stress level and also by the socio-demographics characteristics such as education and social level. The current study could contribute to the understanding of healthy cognitive aging process and to drive studies about cognitive impairment aging. Besides this, the analysis about the impact of socio-demographics characteristics on stress response could set a stage for more complex models about vulnerable groups of individuals in the stress related disorders development. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DOS SANTOS, ALINE TALITA; LEYENDECKER, DAYSE MARIA D.; SIQUEIRA COSTA, ANA LUCIA; DE SOUZA-TALARICO, JULIANA NERY. Relationship between cortisol reactivity to psychosocial stress and declarative memory decline during aging: Impact of age and sex. Geriatrics & Gerontology International, v. 18, n. 1, p. 169-176, JAN 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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