University of Edinburgh scientists have found that there is a link between stress and memory loss as the stress hormone impairs memory to a great extent.
Dr Joyce Yau, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science and team leader of this study said, "It's quite well known that too much stress hormone is bad for memory, and previous research has found that as we get older, about 30% of us have impaired memory, some have memories just as good as young people and then there are some that are in between."
Earlier studies have shown that older people with poor memory showed shrinkage of the hippocampus, region in the brain which is involved with memory; such people also had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The study conducted on older mice also showed that increasing levels of stress hormone adversely affected their memory, so much so, that they had great difficulty navigating a maze.
"We now know that lowering the levels of these stress hormones will prevent them from activating a receptor that is bad for memory. Understanding the mechanisms in the brain which affect memory as we age, will help us to find ways to combat conditions linked to memory loss," Dr Yau said.