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Topics at Noon – Late-life anxiety and accelerated aging, Carmen Andreescu, MD
September 17, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Late-life anxiety and accelerated aging
Carmen Andreescu, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in the elderly and they are associated with functional impairment, poorer quality of life and cognitive decline. Chronic anxiety increases the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, and asthma and it is risk factor for progression from MCI to AD. Allostatic load is defined as the wear-and-tear on the body and the brain that results from chronic dysregulation of the mechanisms supposed to promote adaptation to stressful experiences. These mechanisms include primarily the autonomic nervous system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the immune system. Some of the more prominent markers of stress are hypercortisolemia, increased stressor-evoked blood pressure (BP) reactivity, telomerase activity and increased pro-inflammatory cytokines. In this presentation we will focus on putative mechanisms through with chronic anxiety contributes to accelerated aging through increasing allostatic load.