Stress-induced cytokines and neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease

Serafino Ricci, Andrea Fuso, Flora Ippoliti, Rita Businaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence has been accumulating about the role of stress as an important challenge to the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The hippocampus, one of the areas of the brain damaged during AD, was the first brain region, besides the hypothalamus, to be recognized as a target of stress hormones, including cortisol, sympathetic and parasympathetic transmitters, cytokines, and metabolic hormones. The present review aims at summarizing neuroinflammatory mechanisms induced by stress, resulting in neuronal dysfunction and impaired neurogenesis. Lifestyle and environmental factors related to metabolic and inflammatory alterations observed in stressed subjects and thought to favor AD development and progression, as well as the possible ways of prevention, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cytokines
  • HPA axis
  • lifestyle
  • neurogenesis
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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