DOI: 10.1002/alz.079319 ISSN: 1552-5260

Allostatic load measures in elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive decline: a cross‐sectional analysis from the Brazilian Memory and Aging Study

Breno José Alencar Pires Barbosa, Maria Clara Ferreira Jesus, Maira Okada de Oliveira, Luciana Cassimiro, Isabella B Avolio, Eduardo Sturzeneker Trés, Conrado Regis Borges, Thiago Bezerra Moraes Teixeira, Juliana Nery Souza‐Talarico, Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



There’s increasing evidence suggesting that chronic stress and persistently high levels of cortisol are related to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegeneration. The Brazilian Memory and Aging Study (BRAMS) is a research initiative for the longitudinal follow‐up of individuals in a tertiary center specialized memory outpatient clinic. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between markers of chronic stress and cognitive status in BRAMS, making comparisons between participants classified as controls, subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI)


cross‐sectional study with a subgroup analysis of the BRAMS cohort, in which individuals aged > 60 years had access to a comprehensive neuropsychological classification, clinical, imaging and laboratory measures. The allostatic load index (AL) was measured through anthropometric, endocrinological, cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory markers of chronic stress.


77 participants were evaluated, of which 65 met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 70.2 (+ 6.01) years, with 72% being female and 11 years of schooling (interquartile range 7 – 15). 42 subjects were classified as MCI, 15 as SCD and 8 as controls. There was a significant difference between waist/hip ratio (0.94 in the MCI group vs. 0, 88 in the SCD group, p = 0.03) and in the measurement of the weighted AL index considering individuals in the extremes values of cortisol (36.9% in the MCI group vs. 27.2% in the SCD group, p = 0.04). In the multivariate analysis, higher education was associated with reduced risk of MCI.


despite a modest sample size, the present work probably represents one of the first research initiatives to address measures of chronic stress beyond cortisol in elderly participants diagnosed with SCD and MCI, with an increased AL in the MCI group. Due to the cross‐sectional nature of the study, the associations found do not allow inferring causality between the measures, which need further validation in the longitudinal follow‐up of the participants.

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