Stressful life experiences can cause brain to age 'by years', claims study!

 Researchers from Wisconsin University in the US also found that African American experienced 60 percent more stressful events than white people during their lifetimes.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Jul 17, 2017, 21:33 PM IST
Stressful life experiences can cause brain to age 'by years', claims study!

New Delhi: A fast-paced life, much like the one we lead today, can often take its toll on you and put you under mounting pressure and stress.

Financial issues, relationships, job, divorce, death, health problems, societal pressures – the list of things in life that pressurize us are endless. However, these stressful life experiences can put pressure on the brain and cause it to age by several years, a study has claimed.

Researchers examined data of 1,320 people who reported stressful experiences over their lifetime and underwent tests in areas such as thinking and memory.

The average age of the subjects' was 58 years and included 1,232 white Americans and 82 African Americans.

Researchers from Wisconsin University in the US also found that African American experienced 60 percent more stressful events than white people during their lifetimes.

Each stressful experience was equivalent to about four years of cognitive ageing in African Americans, researchers said.

A series of neuropsychological tests examined several areas, including four memory scores (immediate memory, verbal learning and memory, visual learning and memory, and story recall).

Stressful life experiences included incidents such as losing a job, the death of a child, divorce or growing up with a parent who abused alcohol or drugs.

The results showed that a larger number of stressful events was linked to poorer cognitive function in later life, 'The Guardian' reported

"Studying the role of stress is complex. It is hard to separate from other conditions such as anxiety and depression, which are also thought to contribute towards dementia risk," Doug Brown, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society in the UK.

"We know that prolonged stress can have an impact on our health, so it's no surprise that this study indicates stressful life events may also affect our memory and thinking abilities later in life," he added

(With PTI inputs)