It Might Stress You Out to Know What Stress Is Doing to Your Brain


If you’re already feeling stressed out, sorry, but there’s one more thing you might need to worry about: A new study finds that stress may impair your memory now and quicken cognitive decline later in life.

And if that’s not stressful enough, stress might also be tied to a slight shrinking of the brain, according to the study, published today (Oct. 24) in the journal Neurology.

In a study with more than 2,000 healthy, middle-age volunteers, doctors found that those with higher blood levels of the hormone cortisol — an indicator of stress — performed more poorly on memory tests and had a slightly shrunken brain volume compared to those with a normal level of the hormone. The effect was more evident among women in the study.

But before you panic, know that the researchers emphasized (stressed, really) that the findings do not mean that stress causes brain damage. Rather, the study…


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Last modified: November 5, 2018

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