Acute hydrocortisone administration pre-learning impairs memory in Chronic Adrenal Insufficiency

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dc.contributor.advisor Wolf, Jutta
dc.contributor.author Elling, Claire E.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-08-31T15:18:56Z
dc.date.available 2016-08-31T15:18:56Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/32891
dc.description.abstract Cortisol and psychosocial stress are known to affect learning and memory. Individuals with chronic adrenal insufficiency (CAI), who must substitute basal cortisol levels pharmacologically and do not exhibit a cortisol response to stress, provide a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between stress, cortisol, and memory performance. Twenty-eight patients with CAI learned one wordlist prior to exposure to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and one wordlist following TSST exposure. Delayed recall of wordlist 1 occurred immediately after the TSST and delayed recall of wordlist 2 occurred 100 minutes post-TSST. Thirteen patients received an injection of hydrocortisone (HC) after the TSST to mimic a stress response and the other 15 received an injection of saline (NaCl). Among CAI patients treated with NaCl, exposure to the TSST did not impact learning (ps > .46). When recall occurred post-TSST and after the injections, the NaCl and HC treatment groups did not differ in delayed recall performance of the wordlist 1 (ps > .30). Patients treated with HC recalled fewer words from wordlist 2, which was learned following stress exposure and injection administration, than those treated with NaCl at both immediate and delayed recall (F = 4.60, p = .042). Both groups recalled more negative than neutral words. These findings may indicate that psychosocial stress and cortisol impact memory differently among patients with CAI as compared to healthy individuals. This also suggests that acute administration of HC is detrimental to memory in CAI patients. Future work should explore the potentially negative effect of cortisol replacement therapy on cognitive function.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Claire E. Elling 2016
dc.subject cortisol
dc.subject memory
dc.subject chronic adrenal insufficiency
dc.title Acute hydrocortisone administration pre-learning impairs memory in Chronic Adrenal Insufficiency
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Psychology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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