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Glucocorticoids and the ageing hippocampus

  • CARINA HIBBERD (a1), JOYCE L. W. YAU (a1) and JONATHAN R. SECKL (a1)
    • Published online: 06 February 2001
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.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence to Dr J. R. Seckl, Molecular Medicine Centre, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU.
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The Journal of Anatomy
  • ISSN: 0021-8782
  • EISSN: 1469-7580
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-anatomy
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