Though, the reason behind Alzheimer’s affecting women more than men is not clear, a research does bring to light the effects of stress on cognitive functions of the mind.
Alzheimer’s is a common condition particularly in the elderly people and like the cause is unknown, there is no cure to for it. But, a research has shed light on the stress aspect and its effect on the mind’s cognitive functioning.
Past researches around the effect of stress on women have stated that there is a high impact on stress response of females and stress can result into memory and cognitive problems, though of temporary nature.
The objective of the recent research conducted at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine was to find out the relation between stress and long-time decline in cognitive functioning. Cynthia Munro, PH.D and associate professor of Psychiatry and behavioral sciences said that the stress hormones like cortisol increased when there someone was under normal stress and then the levels returned to the baseline. But if there was stress on a regular basis or if the sensitivity to stress was high, there is a increased and sustained responses in the hormones and the recovery is also delayed. It’s a fact that an increase in stress hormones for a consistent basis then it is not good for brain’s hippocampus – the seat of memory.
The study included the data of over 900 residents of Baltimore found that there was link that could play a significant role in stating why women over 65 have more chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
The findings of this study are already published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The study began in the 1980’s and the participants had to take part in interviews as well as checkups over three times in a span of 1982 -2004. The first was in 1982, the second 1993-1996 and the last in 2003-2004. The participants were of around 47 years old on an average and over 63% were women.
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