Effects of Alzheimer's disease and gender on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to lumbar puncture stress
Petrie, E.C.; Wilkinson, C.W.; Murray, S.; Jensen, C.; Peskind, E.R.; Raskind, M.A.
Psychoneuroendocrinology 24(4): 385-395
Differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responsiveness to lumbar puncture (LP) stress were studied in normal elderly subjects and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients of both genders. Elderly normal subjects had larger peak cortisol and ACTH responses than AD patients. These results contrast with some previous reports of increased HPA-axis responsivity associated with AD and suggest that AD-related changes in HPA responsiveness depend on the type of stressor involved and are mediated 'upstream' to the final common pathway to ACTH secretion. HPA-axis responsiveness also differed by gender, with higher peaks and prolonged elevations in elderly female subjects than in elderly males.