|Title||Does the diurnal cycle of cortisol explain the relationship between physical performance and cognitive function in older adults?|
|Authors||Dijckmans, B., Tortosa-Martínez, J., Caus, N., González-Caballero, G., Martínez-Pelegrin, B., Manchado-Lopez, C., Cortell-Tormo, J.M., Chulvi-Medrano, I. and Clow, A.|
Regular physical activity is a promising strategy to treat and prevent cognitive decline. The mechanisms that mediate these benefits are not fully clear but physical activity is thought to attenuate the harmful effects of chronic psychological stress and hypercortisolism on cognition. However, the circadian pattern of cortisol secretion is complex and it is not known which aspects are most closely associated with increased cognitive function and better physical performance. This is the first study to simultaneously measure cognitive function, the diurnal cycle of salivary cortisol and physical performance in older adults, without cognitive impairment (n = 30) and with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) (n = 30).
Regression analysis showed that better cognitive function was associated with better physical performance. A greater variance in cortisol levels across the day from morning to evening was associated with better cognitive function and physical performance.
The results support the idea that a more dynamic cortisol secretion pattern is associated with better cognitive function and physical performance even in the presence of cognitive impairment, but our results could not confirm a mediating role in this relationship.
|Keywords||Aging, Mild cognitive impairment, Dementia, Cognitive function, Physical activity, Cortisol, Chronic stress, HPA axis|
|Journal||European Review of Aging and Physical Activity|
|Journal citation||14 (6)|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1186/s11556-017-0175-5|
|Published||15 May 2017|
|License||CC BY 4.0 |