Lookup NU author(s): Andy Bradley,
Dr Kirstie Anderson,
Dr Stuart Watson,
Dr Peter Gallagher,
Professor Hamish McAllister-Williams
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ObjectiveThe association between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis function and cognition has long been investigated. An inverted U-shaped relationship has been described between various measures of HPA-axis function and neuropsychological performance in animals and man. Work with glucocorticoid receptor manipulation has corroborated these findings, with particular effects observed in relation to spatial working memory (SWM). As HPA-axis dysfunction is frequently found in patients with psychiatric illness, research in this area has potential implications for the treatment of the commonly observed cognitive impairment in such disorders. Here, we present the results of a pilot study examining the relationship between cortisol awakening response (CAR) and cognitive functions known to be susceptible to HPA-axis manipulation.MethodsNineteen healthy male volunteers were recruited, and their CAR and performance in a task of SWM were assessed.ResultsA highly significant quadratic relationship was observed between the CAR and SWM error rate (R-2=0.63, p=0.001).ConclusionWe provide novel evidence supporting the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between corticosteroid levels and cognitive function in humans. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Author(s): Moriarty AS, Bradley AJ, Anderson KN, Watson S, Gallagher P, McAllister-Williams RH
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental
Print publication date: 27/03/2014
ISSN (print): 0885-6222
ISSN (electronic): 1099-1077
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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