Stress could be boosting our chances of dementia

A study published in The EMBO Journal has linked the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease or a similar degenerative mental condition in later life could well be linked to stress through a hormone that is released in our bodies when we are under a lot of pressure.

It has been evidenced in the past that dementia and stress could be connected, and Professor Todd Golde of the University of Florida said that the findings of the study strengthen the understanding of this possible connection. This recent study “adds insight into the stress mechanisms that might promote at least one of the Alzheimer’s pathologies.”

The study involved experiments on both mice and human cells. Mice who were stressed out were found to have a larger amount of chemical fragments that are thought to be linked with dementia and memory loss. These chemicals are known as amyloid beta.

When this protein gets into the brain in large enough quantities, it is thought to create a chain reaction which eventually leads to dementia.

It is possible that the stress hormone CRF causes an enzyme to increase in activity, which, in turn, generates more amyloid beta.

It goes to show there is a connection between the body and mind. When the mind is stressed, it endangers the health of the body through chemical releases and physiological changes.

Whether stress does have this effect or not, stress management is an important tool which can help us to deal with the pressures we are put under every day. Mindfulness and meditation can help to reduce the risk of suffering from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and help us live each day happy and healthily.

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