Loneliness in older adults is associated with diminished cortisol output

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“• Loneliness in older adults is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. One of the possible mechanisms is dysregulation of HPA-axis.

• In a group of 426 older adults, loneliness was associated with lower cortisol output after awakening and diminished dexamethasone suppression.

• There were no significant interaction terms for loneliness and depression diagnosis for the association with the cortisol measures.

• Whether loneliness in older adults leads to health problems via diminished cortisol output is an interesting subject for further study.”


see the original study
picture: Donald Teel (at pexels)

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1 Response to Loneliness in older adults is associated with diminished cortisol output

  1. “In a previous study of the Drosophila fly, the Anderson laboratory had discovered that a particular neurochemical called tachykinin plays a role in promoting aggression in socially isolated flies. Tachykinin is a neuropeptide, a short protein molecule that is released from certain neurons when they are activated. Neuropeptides bind to specific receptors on other neurons, altering their physiological properties and thereby influencing neural circuit function.
    The researchers found that chronic isolation leads to an increase in Tac2 gene expression and the production of NkB throughout the brain. However, administration of a drug that chemically blocks NkB-specific receptors enabled the stressed mice to behave normally, eliminating the negative effects of social isolation. Conversely, artificially increasing Tac2 levels and activating the corresponding neurons in normal, unstressed animals led them to behave like the stressed, isolated animals.”


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