Stress reduction is one of the primary benefits of regular massage therapy sessions. New research shows that high stress levels may be tied to memory loss in he elderly.
The research helps explain why too much stress over a prolonged period interferes with the normal processes in storing everyday memories, despite the fact that a little bit of stress can help us better remember emotional memories, according to a University of Edinburgh press release.
Specifically, older-age memory loss may be tied to stress hormone receptors in the brain, which are in relationship with the stress hormone cortisol.
The study, by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, found that one receptor was activated by low levels of cortisol, which helped memory.
However, once levels of this stress hormone were too high, they spilled over onto a second receptor activating brain processes that contribute to memory impairment.
The study, published in the leading Journal of Neuroscience, found that high levels of the stress hormone in aged mice made them less able to remember how to navigate a maze.
The memory recall problem was reversed when the receptor linked to poor memory was blocked.
The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.