Nowadays stress has become part and parcel of life. With a failure to maintain a balance between personal and work life, high stress levels are encountered. High Stress levels can lead to impaired memory and reduced brain volume. The results of the study can be seen in the journal Neurology.
Cortisol hormone is responsible for handling the stress levels. During the study, levels of this hormone were studied in 2,000 individuals with an average age of 49. The study was examined over a decade. These participants did not have any history of dementia. All the individuals went through a psychological exam. Also, their thinking and memory skills were examined after 8 years.
The blood and MRI scans were carried out on these individuals. It was observed that the individuals who recorded high cortisol levels have shown low brain volume and low memory score. It was striking to note that the high-stress levels were seen in young and middle-aged individuals. Women were more prone to the risk of impaired memory and reduced brain volume.
Importance of Cortisol hormone:
Cortisol plays a key role in maintaining stress levels in the human body. Adrenal glands release more cortisol when there is a high-stress level and return to normal when the stressful situation has passed. This is the body’s mechanism of handling stress.
In extreme cases, if the stress levels are high then it could lead to depression, weight gain, poor memory, and reduction in brain volume. A brain is the most sensitive organ of the human body as it has to monitor proper functioning of body organs. It has to supply oxygen and essential nutrients to all body parts. However, if this process is disturbed than it can hamper the functioning of different organs as well.
This study shows a relation between high stress levels, impaired memory and reduced brain volume. The health experts say regular exercise, meditation is a key to reduce stress and lead a healthy long life.