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Glucocorticoids and the ageing hippocampus

  • CARINA HIBBERD (a1), JOYCE L. W. YAU (a1) and JONATHAN R. SECKL (a1)

Abstract

Approximately 30% of human and mammalian populations develop cognitive impairments with ageing. Many of these impairments have been linked to dysfunction of the hippocampus, a well studied area of the medial-temporal lobe, which is involved in episodic memory and control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal stress axis and, thus, of glucocorticoid secretion. This paper reviews the growing body of studies which explore a possible relationship between lifetime exposure to glucocorticoids and hippocampal impairment. There is now strong evidence which associates hypercortisolemia in aged men with later cognitive dysfunction and this complements a wealth of rodent and other human data. We conclude with a discussion of possible pharmacological and behavioural interventions.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr J. R. Seckl, Molecular Medicine Centre, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU.

Keywords

Glucocorticoids and the ageing hippocampus

  • CARINA HIBBERD (a1), JOYCE L. W. YAU (a1) and JONATHAN R. SECKL (a1)

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