Feeling more forgetful these days? It may be due to prolonged stress

In a study, prolonged stress caused spatial memory loss in mice trying to navigate a maze.

By: IANS | New York | Published: March 3, 2016 12:38 pm
stress, memory loss, effects of stress, harmful effects of stress, memory, stressful environment, chronic stress, prolonged stress, bullying, post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, spatial memory, forgetfulness, mental health, health news Prolonged stress can cause memory loss. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

US researchers have found there is a relationship between prolonged stress and memory loss.

The results of the study showed that those who were repeatedly exposed to stress had a trouble with spatial memory. Also, long-term stress may lead to social avoidance — which measures depressive behaviour that continued after four weeks of monitoring. Further, the researchers found measurable changes in brains — including evidence of inflammation brought on by the immune system’s response to the outside pressure brought in by unrelenting stress.

The stress may include repeated, long-term mental assault — such as being sustained by bullying victims, soldiers and those who report to beastly bosses, the researchers said.


In the study — conducted on mice — repetitive visits by a larger and more nasty intruder mouse caused stress. Those mice who were continually exposed to an aggressive intruder had a hard time recalling where the escape hole was in a maze that they had mastered prior to the stressful period.

“The stressed mice didn’t recall it. The mice that weren’t stressed, they really remembered it,” said lead researcher Jonathan Godbout, associate professor at the Ohio State University in US.

The analysis sought to uncover the secrets behind stress and mood problems with a long-range goal of finding ways to help those who are anxious, depressed and suffer from lasting problems — including post-traumatic stress disorder — the researchers concluded in the study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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