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Stressful events can age your brain up to four years according to new study
Time to step up your relaxing bath sessions
Words by Amanda MacMilan
From the editors of Health
Stressful life events—like being fired from a job, getting divorced, or fighting in a war—can age the brain by up to four years, according to a study presented yesterday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London. And the more stressful experiences people in the study had, the poorer their cognitive functioning was later in life.
The study also found that African Americans seem to be most at risk for stress-related brain changes. Not only did African-American study participants report more than 60% more stressful events than their white counterparts, but each individual experience was also linked to worse cognitive results.
In white participants, each stressful experience was associated with brain changes equaling about a year and a half of normal brain ageing, according to a report from NPR. In African Americans, each event aged the brain an average of four years.
While the study didn’t look for dementia symptoms specifically, the authors point out that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is rising—and that minority communities are affected at disproportionate rates.
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