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Arsenault-Lapierre G.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Whitehead V.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Lupien S.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | Chertkow H.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

Anosognosia, or unawareness of one's own cognitive deficits, may cause issues when measuring perceived stress and cortisol levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The goal of this study was to examine the effects of anosognosia on perceived stress and salivary cortisol levels in normal elderly (NE) adults, MCI individuals, newly diagnosed AD patients, and long-lasting AD patients, suspected to show more anosognosia. An anosognosia index for perceived stress was computed by subtracting the score on the Perceived Stress Scale measured in the participants and their relative. Cortisol levels were measured four times a day over two nonconsecutive days. Greater anosognosia for dementia correlated with greater anosognosia for perceived stress in the group as a whole. However, no correlation between cortisol levels and either anosognosia for dementia or perceived stress was observed. Our results suggest that measuring perceived stress in AD patients may be influenced by anosognosia. Copyright © 2012 Genevieve Arsenault-Lapierre et al.

Marchand A.,University of Montreal | Durand P.,University of Montreal | Lupien S.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | Lupien S.,University of Montreal
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health | Year: 2013

Purpose: This study aims at modelling the relationship between the number of work hours per week and cortisol variation across 3 days by comparing non-working day to working day in a population of day-shift workers. Methods: Questionnaire data and saliva samples for cortisol analysis were collected on 132 day-shift workers employed in 13 workplaces in Canada. Consenting workers provided 5 saliva samples a day (awaking, 30 min after awaking, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., bedtime) repeated 3 times (Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday) over a week, to provide measures at work and non-work times and settings. Multilevel regression models were estimated from cortisol measurements at each occasion within a day at level-1, days at level-2 and workers at level-3. Results: Controlling for gender and age, results revealed significant variations in salivary cortisol concentration between sample, day and worker levels. Cortisol increases linearly from non-working day to work days and work hours per week interacted with days, revealing a positive association between the number of work hours per week and cortisol concentrations during these days. Work hours per week did not interact with awaking, 30 min after awaking, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and bedtime cortisol concentrations. Gender and age had neither main effects nor interaction effects. No significant cortisol variations were found between workplaces. Conclusion: These results suggest that work hours act as a stressor that is associated with significant variations in cortisol concentrations over working days. Non-working days may contribute to stress reduction in workers who experience longer work hours. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Juster R.-P.,University of Montreal | Juster R.-P.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | Juster R.-P.,McGill University | Lupien S.,University of Montreal | Lupien S.,Center for Studies on Human Stress
Gender Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Biological sex and sociocultural gender influence stress-related diseases. Our goal was to explore whether sex and gender roles would predict both allostatic load and physical complaints. Objective: This study investigated whether sex- and gender-based factors would correspond to objective and subjective health outcomes. Methods: Thirty Montreal workers (mean [SE] age, 45.4 [2.1] years) participated. The 30-item Bem Sex Role Inventory was administered to assess scores for masculinity and femininity, which were then transformed into an androgyny index representing gender roles along a continuum. Fifteen biomarkers representing neuroendocrine, immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems were aggregated into an allostatic load index measuring physiological dysregulations. The 42-item Wahler Physical Symptoms Inventory was used to measure self-rated physical complaints. Results: Results using logistic and linear regressions controlling for age revealed that increased masculinity predicted inclusion in the high allostatic load group (P = 0.010; odds ratio = 0.715), and sex did not; increased masculinity and female sex together predicted increased physical complaints (P = 0.008; adjusted r 2= 0.30); and high allostatic load group membership corresponded to increased physical complaints adjusted (P = 0.001; adjusted r2 = 0.301). Conclusions: That higher masculinity was related to increased objective physiological dysregulations and subjective physical complaints suggests an increased vulnerability to hyperarousal pathologies, such as cardiovascular disease, among masculine-typed individuals. © 2012 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc.

Marin M.-F.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | Marin M.-F.,University of Montreal | Hupbach A.,Lehigh University | Maheu F.S.,University of Montreal | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2011

Context: It has recently been demonstrated that the process of memory retrieval serves as a reactivation mechanism whereby the memory trace that is reactivated during retrieval is once again sensitive to modifications by environmental or pharmacological manipulations. Recent studies have shown that glucocorticoids (GCs) have the capacity to modulate the process of memory retrieval. This suggests that GCs could be an interesting avenue to investigate with regard to reduction of emotional memory. Objective: The current study assessed whether a pharmacological decrease in GC levels, induced by metyrapone, a potent inhibitor of GC secretion, would affect retrieval of emotional and neutral information in an acute and/or long-lasting manner. Design, Setting, Participants, and Intervention: To do so, 1x 750 mg dose of metyrapone, 2x 750 mg dose of metyrapone, or placebo was administered to young normal participants 3 d after the encoding of a slide show having neutral and emotional segments. The experiment took place in a university and a hospital setting. Main Outcome Measure: Memory performance was assessed after treatment and 4 d later. Results: Results showed that retrieval of emotional information was acutely impaired in the double-dose metyrapone group and that this effect was still present 4 d later, when GC levels were not different between groups. Conclusions: These results show that decreasing GC levels via metyrapone administration is an efficient way to reduce the strength of an emotional memory in a long-lasting manner. Copyright © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.

Sindi S.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | Sindi S.,McGill University | Fiocco A.J.,Ryerson University | Juster R.-P.,Center for Studies on Human Stress | And 5 more authors.
Hippocampus | Year: 2014

The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis production of the stress hormone cortisol interacts with the hippocampal formation and impacts memory function. A growing interest is to determine whether hippocampal volume (HV) predicts basal and/or reactive cortisol levels in young and older adults. Recent evidence shows that contextual features in testing environments might be stressful and inadvertently induce a stress response in young and/or older populations. This latter result suggests that variations in testing environments might influence associations between HV and cortisol levels in young and older adults. To this end, we investigated 28 healthy young adults (ages 18-35) and 32 healthy older adults (ages 60-75) in two different environments constructed to be more or less stressful for each age group (Favoring-Young versus Favoring-Old conditions). Cortisol levels were repeatedly assessed in each environment, and young and older participants underwent an anatomical magnetic resonance imaging scan for subsequent assessment of HV. Results in both age groups showed that HV was significantly associated with cortisol levels only in the unfavorable stressful testing conditions specific for each age group. This association was absent when testing environments were designed to decrease stress for each age group. These findings are fundamental in showing that unless the nature of the testing environment is taken into consideration, detected associations between HV and cortisol levels in both young and older populations might be confounded by environmental stress. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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