Chronic Stress Affects Cognitive Ability, but How?


Chronic Stress Affects Cognitive Ability, but How?

While there is no doubt that stress affects one and all, there is need to know what actually make one lose their thinking ability during stress. For the research, a team led by Zhen Yan, PhD, of the State University of New York at Buffalo, studied a technique, which underlined how stress hormones affect the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is a part of brain controlling high level "executive" functions.

Though there have been studies done in the past about the impact of chronic stress on mental growth, not much has been revealed about the same till now. There is a lot to be known about the consequences of chronic stress on the physiological and molecular targets so that long team effects of stress can be gauged.

The team had attempted to find out how consistent stress could actually affect glutamate receptors in juvenile rats, and they found that there was a considerable loss of glutamate receptors. It ultimately led to a considerable loss in PFC-mediated cognitive processes, thereby making it clear that long term stress can actually affect one to considerable level. While chronic stress has its own pitfalls, it has been told that there is concrete link between the major stress hormone cortisol, and occurrence of depression.

"Since PFC dysfunction has been implicated in various stress-related mental disorders, delineating molecular mechanisms by which stress affects the PFC should be critical for understanding the role of stress in influencing the disease process", said the lead author.

There are fair chances that chronic stress could instigate memory problems in the long term, which is why so much is being said about the same. Despite the research, the team is of the opinion that there is lot to be explored further to underline the basic mechanism, which impairs cognitive ability under stress.

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