Source: Katz MJ, et al. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2015;[e pub].
December 11, 2015
1 min read

Higher perceived stress increases risk for mild cognitive impairment

Source: Katz MJ, et al. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2015;[e pub].
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Higher perceived stress was associated with a 30% higher risk for incident amnestic mild cognitive impairment among older adults, according to recent findings.

“Our study provides strong evidence that perceived stress increases the likelihood that an older person will develop [amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)],” Richard Lipton, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a press release. “Fortunately, perceived stress is a modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment, making it a potential target for treatment.”

Richard Lipton, MD

Richard Lipton

To determine if perceived stress predicted amnestic MCI and if stress affected amnestic MCI independent of amnestic MCI risk factors, researchers evaluated 507 participants from the Einstein Aging Study aged 70 years and older. At baseline, participants were free of amnestic MCI. The Perceived Stress Scale was administered annually beginning in 2005. Average follow-up was 3.6 years.

Seventy-one participants developed incident amnestic MCI during the study period.

High levels of perceived stress were associated with a 30% higher risk for incident amnestic MCI independent of covariates. Specifically, for every 5-point increase in Perceived Stress Scale, risk for amnestic MCI increased by 30% in fully adjusted models (P = .007).

“Our study of community residing older adults demonstrates that perceived stress is an independent predictor of [amnestic] MCI, the preclinical stage of [Alzheimer’s disease],” Lipton and colleagues wrote. “As a modifiable risk factor, perceived stress should be considered to be targeted in preventive interventions including mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive-behavioral therapies and pharmacologic interventions that aim to reduce cognitive decline. Perceived stress can be easily measured using self-report instruments, which can be easily implemented in a clinical setting.” – by Amanda Oldt

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.