Middle-age stress shrinks brain, impairs memory

Oct 26, 2018, 8:30 AM EDT
(Source: KellyB/flickr)
(Source: KellyB/flickr)

According to a new study by researchers at the Harvard Medical School, higher levels of cortisol, a hormone triggered by stress, in people in their middle age, can make their brain shrink, impair their memory and impact other cognitive functions.

Unlike previous studies that have focused on elderly and a specific area of the brain in linking cortisol and dementia risk, the latest research scans the entire brain and studies people with an average age of 48, notes CNN.

Surprisingly, the negative correlation between brain volume and cortisol level was primarily visible in women and not men, reports New Atlas. The study, despite some evident lacunas, comes as a reminder that it’s never too early to be mindful of reducing stress.