How Stress Affects The Brain

When we stress our brain is affected.  Here are a few ways in which the brain is affected by severe stress.

Memory is Affected

The neural stem cells in the hippocampus (for memory and learning) develop into neurons.  When severe stress occurs the stem cells become oligodendrocytes and these coat the neurons with myelin, which is an insulation material.

When there is excess myelin it disturbs the balance of communication in the circuitry of the brain changing the way the neurons interact with each other.  These changes may affect cognitive functions such as changes in learning and memory and can affect emotional well-being.  Considerable changes in the production of myelin can also contribute to anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Increased Risk of Strokes

High levels of stress may increase the risk of strokes, so it is essential you enjoy some downtime and have some fun, either at Lucky Nugget casino Canada, or in any other way you prefer.  Studies have been done showing stress can contribute to the chances of getting a stroke or a transient ischemic attack.

Chronic stress such as health, money and relationships seem to be the main causes related to stress.  There has always been a focus on other risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking, which also contribute to strokes, but stress is just as big a problem.

Reduction of Serotonin and Dopamine

Brain cells communicate using chemicals known as neurotransmitters and large amounts of stress reduce the level of this transmitting, especially serotonin and dopamine.  If there are low levels of these neurotransmitters depression may occur and may even make people more prone to addictions.

Serotonin is known as the happy molecule and plays an important part on mood, learning, appetite control and sleep.  Women who have low serotonin levels are more prone to depression, anxiety issues and eating disorders.  Men are usually more prone to alcoholism, ADHD and impulse control disorders.

Dopamine is known as the motivation molecule and too little of this chemical leads to people being unfocused, unmotivated, tired and depressed.  People tend to try and compensate for low levels of dopamine by using caffeine supplements, sugar, alcohol and various drugs.

Too much stress also results in people being forgetful and emotional.  When the brain is stressed the electrical signals in the brain that are associated with memories will weaken.

Impairs Thought and Reason

Stress can sometimes make your brain shut down at the most inopportune times such as exams or public speaking.  What most people do not realise is that this is actually a survival mechanism.  When a life or death situation happens often instinct and training will take over from rational thought and reasoning.

This may be helpful when facing a dire situation such as being chased by a leopard, but this is not really going to happen in modern life.  Stress often diminishes memory and impedes the decision making process.