CogniFit's Science blog: The Relation Between Stress And Alzheimer's

The Relation Between Stress And Alzheimer's

We all know the negative effects that stress can have on our general health. It seems now that stress could also have a negative effect on our brain health. The spread of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease is today a real issue for our society.

These conditions may be among the most costly diseases in the United States and Europe. Estimates vary but Alzheimer's costs for the US only may be around $100 billion each year.

A new study from Utah State University's Department of Family, Consumer And Human Development has shown that stress and stressful events could lead to Alzheimer's Disease and dementia later in life.

The researchers studied a population of more than 5,000 individuals. When these people where faced with stressful stimuli (or stressors), they experienced a higher loss of neuronal cells in the brain that for the average population. The loss of cells also happened in the hippocampus which is the part of the brain principally responsible for memory and learning. Therefore a higher loss of cells in the hippocampus could lead to Alzheimer's and dementia.

The study author, Maria Norton, PhD., explains that chronic stress can result in elevated levels of glucocorticoids, a chemical shown to increase the rate of neuronal cells loss.

It is therefore important to try to keep your stress level low in your daily life as it affects not only your body but also your brain!