Stress reduces the brain and reduces intelligence
The fact of the decline of cognitive abilities due to stress in animals was already known to science. A new study has shown that a similar relationship exists in humans. Scientists have found that stress in adulthood can reduce the brain and contribute to the reduction of intellectual abilities, this writes the journal Neurology.
The authors of the study, biologists at the University of Texas, found that people who experience frequent stress, suffer from reduced functions of the intellect – in particular, from the deterioration of memory. Especially significantly it affects older people, experts said.
Scientists have conducted an experiment involving 2231 man age (average) 48 years. This experiment showed that lower intelligence correlates with the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in the human body.
In particular, the study volunteers were daily measured the level of cortisol in the blood, after which the participants took tests on memory and abstract thinking. It turned out that people in the body which has registered the highest levels of the stress hormone, showed the worst results in tests of intellectual ability. In particular, magnetic resonance imaging has allowed scientists to determine that stress is associated with a decrease in the gray matter of the frontal lobe of the brain.
“If a person arrives in unstable condition, then the level of gray matter in his brain is reduced,” the researchers noted.
The specialists underline that the decrease in the amount of gray matter in the hippocampus of the brain is closely connected with the development of cognitive disorders and degenerative diseases.
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