Stress is a very unpleasant and even dangerous thing that can leave a significant imprint on the normal functioning of the brain and organs in people of all ages. However, today a team of US neuroscientists from the United States presented the results of their long-standing project, which only came to an end now – it was based on a possible correlation between the level of the stress hormone cortisol and the general level of cognitive abilities, including memory and brain volume per se. The results were very surprising for specialists, especially considering the fact that the focus group of the study was people in adulthood who had been tested more than once.
More precisely, testing initially included testing their initial cognitive abilities and taking a blood sample, which contained the initial level of cortisol. Then, after eight years, the subjects – most of whom had already reached the age of 48 years – again passed tests for testing cognitive abilities and they again took blood samples. It turned out that the higher the level of cortisol in the blood, the greater the chances of the appearance and development of various neurodegenerative symptoms and aspects, among which the decrease in brain volume, the deterioration of long-term memory and the process of rationalization of thinking stand out most.
Thus, stress is most dangerous in adulthood, when the degree of neuroplasticity decreases markedly and when an increased level of cortisol enters into hormonal balancing. However, this study has one small drawback.
And this drawback is that tests of cognitive abilities were carried out only twice, and blood samples were taken twice – everything that could happen between the first and second tests could somehow affect the change in the level of cortisol in the blood, and as a result and the final level of stress that can cause various neurodegenerative conditions. Thus, specialists have yet to supplement the testing methodology.