Mental Distress Leads to Cognitive Impairment

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Individuals with chronic distress are at a significant risk for developing cognitive impairments. In a study conducted by Robert Wilson, Ph.D. of Rush University Medical Center, reported in the June 12, 2007 issue of Neurology, individuals who scored high on a test of chronic mental distress where 40% more likely to develop mild cognitive impairments than individuals who were less stress prone and more "laid back". Dr. Wilson's study suggests that the accumulated effect of a lifetime of stress will affect the area of the brain which regulates memory. This study furthers our understanding of the importance of managing stress throughout one's lifetime. While we all will be exposed to stressful events throughout our life, it is the development of a chronic stress response which will lead to long term psychological and cognitive effects. A phrase from popular song  few years ago said: "Don't worry, be happy". Not bad advice!

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