San Diego Anti-aging medicine and family practice located in Encinitas CA, Center for Age Management

Optimize Your Health
Center for Age Management

317 N. El Camino Real, Suite 206
Encinitas, CA 92024
USA View Map

Phone: 760-633-1315


Mon - Thur: 9am to 5pm
Lunch: 12pm to 1:30pm
Friday: 9am to 12pm
On Fridays, we will have limited staff. You may leave a message and it will be our pleasure to return your call. Any prescriptions, questions or concerns that you have, we will be happy to assist you Monday - Thursday.

Serving other neighboring cities: La Costa, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, San Marcos, Carlsbad, La Jolla, and San Diego County, CA.

Cortisol and Dementia

Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;163(12):2164-9.

Plasma cortisol and progression of dementia in subjects with Alzheimer-type dementia.

Csernansky JG, Dong H, Fagan AM, Wang L, Xiong C, Holtzman DM, Morris JC.


Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Studies of subjects with dementia of the Alzheimer type have reported correlations between increases in activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and hippocampal degeneration. In this study, the authors sought to determine whether increases in plasma cortisol, a marker of HPA activity, were associated with clinical and cognitive measures of the rate of disease progression in subjects with Alzheimer-type dementia.


Thirty-three subjects with very mild and mild Alzheimer-type dementia and 21 subjects without dementia were assessed annually for up to 4 years with the Clinical Dementia Rating scale and a battery of neuropsychological tests. Plasma was obtained at 8 a.m. on a single day and assayed for cortisol. Rates of change over time in the clinical and cognitive measures were derived from growth curve models.


In the subjects with dementia, but not in those without dementia, higher plasma cortisol levels were associated with more rapidly increasing symptoms of dementia and more rapidly decreasing performance on neuropsychological tests associated with temporal lobe function. No associations were observed between plasma cortisol levels and clinical and cognitive assessments obtained at the single assessment closest in time to the plasma collection.


Higher HPA activity, as reflected by increased plasma cortisol levels, is associated with more rapid disease progression in subjects with Alzheimer-type dementia