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Keywords:

  • cortisol;
  • memory performance;
  • serotonin-drug-effects;
  • 5-HT

Objectives: In the present paper the association of stress-induced cortisol with memory impairment is discussed

Methods: An experiment is described in which an attempt is made to block stress-induced cortisol by lowering 5-HT neurotransmission by means of acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). Forty-five healthy control subjects participated in the experiment.

Results: Stress-induced peak cortisol and immediate memory performance were negatively associated. ATD tended to block stress-induced cortisol response. ATD also blocked the association between peak cortisol response and memory impairment.

Conclusions: Stress-induced cortisol and its association with memory impairment is mediated at least partially by serotonin.