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Effects of chronically high levels of aldosterone on different cognitive dimensions: an investigation in patients with primary aldosteronism

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Brem,  Anna-Katherine
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Steiger,  Axel
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Engler, L., Adolf, C., Heinrich, D. A., Brem, A.-K., Riester, A., Franke, A., et al. (2019). Effects of chronically high levels of aldosterone on different cognitive dimensions: an investigation in patients with primary aldosteronism. ENDOCRINE CONNECTIONS, 8(4), 407-415. doi:10.1530/EC-19-0043.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-645D-F
Abstract
Primary aldosteronism is a natural model for chronic aldosterone excess in humans and associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Cognitive deficits are inherent to the symptomatology of depression and anxiety disorders. Mineralocorticoid receptors and aldosterone appear to play a role in memory. Aldosterone was additionally supposed to be a risk factor for cognitive decline in patients with essential hypertension. The objective of this study was to investigate possible effects of chronically high aldosterone concentrations on cognitive function. A range of cognitive dimensions were assessed in 19 patients (9 males, 10 females); mean age 47.1 (12.5) under standardized treatment and several rating scales for anxiety, depression, quality of life and sleep were administered. Cognitive parameters were compared to standard norms from a large, healthy standardization sample. Patients showed increased levels of anxiety and depression without meeting diagnostic criteria for a disorder. Besides a numerically lower attention score, patients did not show any significant differences in the cognitive dimensions. Anxiety and depression were negatively correlated with quantitative performance in males. In females, a negative correlation between sleep disturbances and abstract reasoning and a positive correlation with quantitative performance were found. Our data showed no specific effect of chronic aldosterone in the tested cognitive parameters overall at least in younger patients, but they indicate sexually dimorphic regulation processes.