As a college student, we have all experienced what it feels like to be stressed. Chronic stress is when a person experiences ongoing stress which causes the body's autonomic nervous system to lack a relaxation response. The body is in a constant state of physiological arousal. Can this chronic stress lead to brain disorders in our later years?
During a recent research done at University of California Berkley, it is found that chronic stress may lead to long-term changes in the brain. These changes include mental problems like anxiety and mood disorders.The findings may lead to new therapies to help reduce the risk of developing mental illness after stressful events.
In a series of experiment, Dr. Daniela Kaufer and her colleagues discovered that chronic stress creates more myelin-producing cells and less neurons than in a normal non-stressed person. The excess myelin causes the changes in the balance and timing of communication within the brain. The researchers all found that chronic stress caused the stem cells in the hippocampus (which regulates memory and emotions) to mature into oligodendrocytes (a type of glial cell that produces the myelin that sheaths nerve cells). Oligodendrocytes also play the role of helping control the growth of other pathways of axon.
Now that classes are picking up and exams are coming up soon...stress levels are probably rising as well. So remember to take a break from studying and work to rest the mind. You can do yoga, go for a run, meditate, or have some tea. Good luck with exams everyone and have a great rest of the week!
Posted by Amber Vien (3)