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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 209570, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/209570
Clinical Study

Effects of Anosognosia on Perceived Stress and Cortisol Levels in Alzheimer’s Disease

1Bloomfield Center for Research in Aging, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1E2
2Center for Studies on Human Stress, Fernand-Seguin Research Center, Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada H1N 3V2

Received 7 October 2011; Accepted 21 November 2011

Academic Editor: Kurt A. Jellinger

Copyright © 2012 Genevieve Arsenault-Lapierre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Anosognosia, or unawareness of one’s own cognitive deficits, may cause issues when measuring perceived stress and cortisol levels in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The goal of this study was to examine the effects of anosognosia on perceived stress and salivary cortisol levels in normal elderly (NE) adults, MCI individuals, newly diagnosed AD patients, and long-lasting AD patients, suspected to show more anosognosia. An anosognosia index for perceived stress was computed by subtracting the score on the Perceived Stress Scale measured in the participants and their relative. Cortisol levels were measured four times a day over two nonconsecutive days. Greater anosognosia for dementia correlated with greater anosognosia for perceived stress in the group as a whole. However, no correlation between cortisol levels and either anosognosia for dementia or perceived stress was observed. Our results suggest that measuring perceived stress in AD patients may be influenced by anosognosia.