brain · health · mental health · neuroscience · psychology

Strain on the Brain can lead to long term health problems: Scientific American

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease
Image of a brain of a patient with Alzheimer's. Image via Wikipedia

As I sit here stressing out about working on my master’s thesis, a knot in my stomach about the training manual due by the end of day tomorrow, worried about my dog’s injured knee, and wondering why my mom hasn’t called me back yet, I was reminded of an article I read recently in Scientific American about the really, really damaging effects of stress, particularly over the long term.

A recent wave of research has unveiled an important environmental player in the genesis of neurodegenerative disease: stress.Pairs of identical twins developed Alzheimer’s disease in concert only 40 percent of the time, showing that factors other than genetics must contribute to the disorder.Stress seems to impede the ability of certain brain cells to recover from insults, triggering or aggravating the symptoms of disorders such as Parkinson’s.

more via Strain on the Brain: Scientific American.

We’ve been aware for awhile that long-term, ongoing stress is bad for us, even before Robert Zapolsky’s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers came out, but it’s still a nice reminder how important it is for all of us to take a break every once in awhile.

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