Study: Depression and Stress Actually Shrink Your Brain
Black people are perpetually under more stress than other demographics in this country. Don’t believe me? Just look at our unemployment rate, which is double that of whites. But although stress has been linked to high blood pressure, which is a cause for heart disease, it has never before been linked to brain disorders – until now.
Depression and stress can actually shrink your brain by blocking the formation of nerve of nerve connections, according to a new study. Being stressed is not just an emotional issue that you overcome, but a disease that disrupts brain connections. The new data helps explain why major depressive disorder (MDD) leads to memory loss and concentration problems.
The Daily Mail reports:
Several genes involved in building synapses, the connection points between brain cells, were suppressed in people with MDD, scientists found.
This was thought to contribute to shrinkage of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is known to occur in MDD sufferers.
Researchers in the US analysed brain tissue from patients who had died after being diagnosed with MDD.
Depressed brains showed reduced activity, reflecting the loss of brain connections. Brain circuits which deal with cognition as well as emotion were both disrupted by depression.
Depression is, of course, not a choice. Sometimes it derives from life’s circumstances, and other times there are genetic components, but if there was ever a reason to encourage people to seek treatment for depression, this it it.
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