Tags: cognition | cognitive reserves | stress | cortisol | erode

Stress Erodes Your Brain's Cognitive Reserves

woman holding head in stress as illustrations of the word 'stress' emanate from her head
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By    |   Friday, 07 June 2024 04:59 PM EDT

Swedish researchers found that while stimulating mental activity helps build the brain’s cognitive reserves, which act as a mental buffer against dementia, stress can destroy that resilience.

According to Study Finds, high or persistent stress can not only reduce social interactions and our ability to enjoy leisure activities, it can also increase the risk of dementia.

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“Different stress management strategies could be a good complement to existing lifestyle interventions in Alzheimer's prevention,” said Manasa Shanta Yerramalla, the lead study author and a researcher at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, at the Karolinska Institute.

Researchers in the late 1908s discovered that while some people had brain changes that were consistent with dementia, they showed no symptoms.  It appears that these fortunate people had built strong cognitive reserves by participating in stimulating mental activities. Yerramalla and her team studied 113 participants from the memory clinic at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden to determine how cognitive reserve is linked to biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. They also delved into how stress is factored into the equation, according to a news release.

They measured both physiological stress, using cortisol levels in saliva, as well as psychological stress as reported by the participants. While cognitive reserves lead to improved thinking and understanding, higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, were associated with weakened cognitive reserves eroding the benefits.

The researcher suggested that stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness training and meditation may help lower cortisol levels and reduce the risk of dementia. They also noted that stress interferes with quality sleep, which in turn negatively affects cognition.

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“These results might have clinical implications as an expanding body of research suggests that mindfulness exercises and meditation may reduce cortisol levels and improve cognition,” said Yerramalla. “We will continue to study the association between stress and sleeping disorders and how it affects the cognitive reserve in memory clinic patients.”

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Health-News
Swedish researchers found that while stimulating mental activity helps build the brain's cognitive reserves, which act as a mental buffer against dementia, stress can destroy that resilience. According to Study Finds, high or persistent stress can not only reduce social...
cognition, cognitive reserves, stress, cortisol, erode
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2024-59-07
Friday, 07 June 2024 04:59 PM
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