Stress-related disorders linked to neurodegenerative disease

(HealthDay)—Stress-related disorders are associated with an increased risk for neurodegenerative diseases, according to a study published online March 9 in JAMA Neurology.

Huan Song, M.D., Ph.D., from West China Hospital in Chengdu, and colleagues examined the association between stress-related disorders and risk for neurodegenerative diseases in a population-matched and sibling cohort study. The population-matched cohort included 61,748 exposed individuals matched with 595,335 unexposed individuals; the sibling cohort analysis included 44,839 exposed individuals and their 78,482 unaffected full siblings.

The researchers found that individuals with a stress-related disorder were at an increased risk for neurodegenerative disease compared with unexposed individuals (hazard ratio [HR], 1.57; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.43 to 1.73). A greater risk increase was seen for vascular neurodegenerative diseases than primary neurodegenerative diseases (HRs, 1.80 [95 percent CI, 1.40 to 2.31] and 1.31 [95 percent CI, 1.15 to 1.48], respectively). A statistically significant association was seen for Alzheimer disease (HR, 1.36; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.12 to 1.67), but the associations were not significant for Parkinson disease (HR, 1.20; 95 percent CI, 0.98 to 1.47) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (HR, 1.20; 95 percent CI, 0.74 to 1.96).

“The underlying mechanisms behind this association, primarily the role of cerebrovascular factors, warrant further studies,” the authors write.

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