Inflammatory Mediators of Stress and Cognitive Aging, 9/30/2012--8/31/2017

This project extends the longitudinal ESCAPE study (PI: Sliwinski) to examine the degree to which stress-related alterations of both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and in inflammation (both basal inflammation and inflammatory responses) relate to changes in cognitive function, and how longer-term changes in inflammatory profiles account for cognitive decline. The degree to which tendencies toward heightened rumination or emotion across time may extend stress responses, moderate inflammation, and accelerate long-term changes in cognition will also be determined.

Data from this project will improve understanding of the physiological mechanisms by which stress increases risk of cognitive decline, within a broad psychosocial context over time. In the long-run, this project is thus expected to elucidate novel approaches for early detection and intervention.

Funding for this project has been provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIA), with additional funding from the Social Science Research Institute at The Pennsylvania State University, and cost-sharing by investigators at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Project Team

Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, Ph.D.


Martin J. Sliwinski , Ph.D.


Joshua M. Smyth, Ph.D.


Christopher G. Engeland


Richard Lipton, Co-Investigators
Mindy Katz, Albert Einstein College of Medicine,Co-Investigators