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Constant Stress May Impair Memory

Posted Apr 05 2012 10:12pm
Posted on 2012-04-02 06:00:00 in Brain and Mental Performance | Mental Health | Stress |

Chronic stress can impair executive functions, such as memory and attention, and has been shown to trigger maladaptive changes associated with stress-related mental disorders. Some previous studies have suggested that stress hormones impair behaviors mediated by the prefrontal cortex, the brain region responsible for executive function.  Zhen Yan, from the State University of New York (New York, USA), and colleagues exposed young male rats to repeated stress, which resulted in a significant impairment of the temporal order recognition memory – a cognitive process controlled by the prefrontal cortex, as well as suppression of the glutamate receptor expression pyramidal neurons in that same brain region.  The study authors submit that: “Our results suggest that repeated stress dampens [prefrontal cortex] glutamatergic transmission by facilitating glutamate receptor turnover, which causes the detrimental effect on [prefrontal cortex]-dependent cognitive processes.”

Eunice Y. Yuen, Jing Wei, Wenhua Liu, Ping Zhong, Xiangning Li, Zhen Yan. “Repeated Stress Causes Cognitive Impairment by Suppressing Glutamate Receptor Expression and Function in Prefrontal Cortex,” Neuron, 73(5) pp. 962 – 977, 8 March 2012.

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242. Work Out to Ward Off Anxiety
Anxiety often remains unrecognized or untreated among patients with a chronic illness. Researchers from the University of Georgia (Georgia, USA) analyzed the results of 40 randomized clinical trials involving nearly 3,000 patients affected by heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer and chronic pain from arthritis. On average, the patients who exercised regularly reported a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms, as compared to those who did not exercise...
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