Exploring stress-induced cognitive impairment in middle aged, centrally obese adults

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., and Dye, L. (2013) Exploring stress-induced cognitive impairment in middle aged, centrally obese adults. Stress, 16 (1). pp. 44-53.

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Abstract

Extensive research has shown that psychosocial stress can induce cognitive impairment. However, few studies have explored impairment following acute stress exposure in individuals with central obesity. Central obesity co-occurs with glucocorticoid excess and can lead to elevated cortisol responses to stress. It is not clear whether centrally obese individuals exhibit greater cognitive impairment following acute stress. Cortisol responses to stress versus no-stress control were compared in 66 high- and low waist to hip ratio (WHR) middle-aged adults (mean age of 46 ± 7.17 years). Cognitive performance post exposure was assessed using Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery. It was hypothesised that high WHR would exhibit greater cortisol in response to stress exposure and would show poorer cognitive performance. Males, particularly of high WHR, tended to secrete greater cortisol during stress exposure. Exposure to stress and increasing WHR were specifically associated with poorer performance on declarative memory tasks (spatial recognition memory and paired associates learning). These data tentatively suggest a reduction in cognitive performance in those with central obesity following exposure to acute stress. Further research is needed to elucidate the effects of stress on cognition in this population.

Item ID: 22022
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: cortisol; memory; stress; Trier Social Stress Test (TSST); WHR
ISSN: 1607-8888
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2012 04:53
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) @ 60%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 10%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920106 Endocrine Organs and Diseases (excl. Diabetes) @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 80%
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