A new study conducted by the University of Iowa reveals a possible connection between stress hormones and short term memory loss.
The study was conducted by the American university of Iowa and was published in the “Journal of Neuroscience“. It shows that high levels of cortisol can lead to memory loss as we advance in age. Levels of cortisol increase when we feel stress.
A link between stress and short term memory loss for the elderly
Cortisol is an important hormone that the body secrets in stressful situations. It has beneficial short-term effects on the body as it makes the individual more alert.
However, high and continuous levels of cortisol can be harmful as shown in many studies. It can lead to anxiety, digestive problems, high blood pressure, weight gain, etc. Unusual high levels of cortisol occur when an individual is exposed to an intense period of stress.
The study from the University of Iowa links high levels of cortisol and gradual loss of synapses in the prefrontal cortex in which short term memory works.
Dr. Jason Radley, who took part in the study, explains: “Stress hormones can alter the brain. Short term memory can degrade due to a excessive level of stress hormones.”.
The first negative effects of stress on short term memory allegedly start at age 65 .
Dr. Radley continues: “Although preliminary, the results show that short-term memory loss can be slowed down or even prevented thanks to treatments which reduce cortisol levels for persons at risk.”.
Such treatments could be used to prevent persons with high levels of cortisol from suffering of depression or post-traumatic stress syndrom.
Published by the Editorial Staff on