Monday, December 5, 2011

Stress: Good or Bad?

Everyone knows the feeling all too well, your cramped for time and you have so many things to do your head is spinning.  We call this mind boggling feeling stress.  Cortisol is the chemical found in the brain which is said to be responsible for managing stress levels.  While short term stress (less then 30 minutes) can be good for the brain and even incresase memory, attention span, and the immune system, long term stress takes our brains to the breaking point.  The article suggests that negative effects on the hippocampus may result from too much stress.  This happens when cortisol can no longer keep up with stress levels.  Long term exposure (greater than 30 minutes) may even result in the shrinking of the hippocampus with associated declines in memory, and cognitive function.  However, the article states that this damage may be reversed if the stressor is eliminated from the picture.    


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