Washington DC: A team of researchers has found a link between stress and Alzheimer`s disease.
University of Florida Health research, conducted on a mouse model and in human cells, found that a stress-coping hormone released by the brain boosts the production of protein fragments.
Those protein pieces, known as amyloid beta, clump together and trigger the brain degeneration that leads to Alzheimer`s disease.
The research contributes to further understanding the potential relationship between stress and Alzheimer`s disease, a disorder believed to stem from a mix of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors.
The findings strengthen the idea of a link between stress and Alzheimer`s disease, researcher Todd Golde said.
Golde noted that it adds detailed insight into the stress mechanisms that might promote at least one of the Alzheimer`s pathologies.
Figuring out the non-genetic factors that heighten the risk of Alzheimer`s disease is especially challenging, and the recent study is one step in a long process of looking at the effects of stress and other environmental factors, according to Golde.
It could also point the way to a novel treatment approach in the future, he said.
Here is what researchers found: Stress causes the release of a hormone called corticotrophin releasing factor, or CRF, in the brain.
That, in turn, increases production of amyloid beta.
As amyloid beta collects in the brain, it initiates a complex degenerative cascade that leads to Alzheimer`s disease.
The study is published in The EMBO Journal.