Trauma may make the brain grow old

Posted on July 25, 2006 

Trauma may make the brain grow old

Stress seems to trigger memory problems later in life.

A bout of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may do damage to the brain that kick-starts memory problems, scientists have discovered. Even patients who had recovered from a period of stress started to get age-related memory difficulties about a decade earlier than non-traumatized people, they report.

Post-traumatic stress, a condition that can cause patients to feel physical pain on remembering a traumatic event, is known to have a number of effects on the mind and body. One of the side effects is that patients tend to be forgetful, unable to remember a story or a list of words after they’ve heard it, for example. This problem, which could come from emotional distraction and an inability to concentrate, can interfere with everyday tasks.

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