UCI study shows link between infant stress and later deficits in brain-cell communication for learning and memory function
Psychological stress during infancy has been found to cause early impaired memory and a decline in related cognitive abilities, according to a UC Irvine School of Medicine study. The study suggests that the emotional stress associated with parental loss, abuse or neglect may contribute to the type of memory loss during middle-age years that is normally seen in the elderly.
The study, conducted in rats, is believed to be the first to show that early life emotional stress initiates a slow deterioration of brain-cell communication in adulthood. These cell-signaling deficits occur in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning, storage and recall of learned memories. Study results appear in the Oct. 12 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
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