Vol. 16 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2022
Original Article Páginas: 61 a 68

Cortisol Reactivity to a physical stressor in Patients with Depression and Alzheimerâ?Ts disease

Authors Ana Beserra1,2; Bruno Oliveira3; Eduardo Portugal4; Patrícia Dutra5; Jerson Laks1,6; Andrea Deslandes1,2; Helena Moraes2,4


keywords: Hydrocortisone; Stress, Mechanical; Alzheimer Disease; Exercise; Depression.

Some prevalent mental disorders in the elderly, such as Alzheimer�?Ts disease (AD) and major depression disorder (MDD), are associated with chronic stress and consequently with possible dysregulation of hypothalamic�?"pituitary�?"adrenal (HPA) axis and cortisol levels in basal conditions or in the reactivity of an acute stressor. However, evidence of cortisol behavior after a physical stressor in patients with AD and MDD is scarce.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the cortisol reactivity to a single session of physical exercise in patients with MDD and AD and compare it to healthy control (HC) older individuals.
METHODS: HC individuals (n=10) and elderly with clinical diagnostic of MDD (n=08) and AD (n=13) were submitted to a single bout of aerobic exercise in a treadmill during 30 minutes of moderate intensity. Salivary cortisol was collected before and after acute stressor. A repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA), spearman correlation, and linear regression were performed.
RESULTS: The repeated-measure ANOVA revealed no interaction for cortisol on the moment�-group [F(2.000, 28.000)=1.285; p=0.293] and no effect for group (F=0.323; p=0.727). However, a significant effect for moment [F(1.000, 28.000)=4.930; p=0.035] was found, with a decreased cortisol levels in postexercise for all groups. The effect size (ES) of cortisol reduction was small for patients with MDD (d=0.402) and trivial for patients with AD (d=0.166) and HC group (d=0.090).
CONCLUSIONS: All participants show a decreased cortisol reactivity to a physical stressor, which can be associated with an impairment in coping with an acute stressor.


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