How does stress change our brain?

There is hardly any person on this planet whoat least once in a life did not face such phenomenon as a stress. Moreover, almost every one of us regularly experiences stress in one form or another. However, few people thought about how exactly stress affects our entire body. But researchers from Switzerland thought about it and, studying the effects of stress on our brain, came to very unexpected results.

What is stress?

To understand what stress is, it’s worth a startfind out what it is for. The fact is that our body regularly maintains the constancy of the internal environment for our normal existence. The simplest example is body temperature or blood pressure.

So, when something happens that “knocks outout of a rut "our constancy, then stress occurs. However, we normally experience stress almost every minute: our body is regularly attacked by viruses and bacteria, you went outside on a sunny day and it started to rain coldly, you went for a run and your heart rate increased - all this is stress for the body. Simply, our bodies are so clever that they can compensate for all these factors. The mechanisms for compensating stress are inherent in us by nature itself, and in the stress itself there is nothing terrible.

However, there are stress factors that the body is unable to compensate. And then it becomes a problem.

How stress affects the brain

To answer this question, the teamResearchers from the University of Zurich headed by Valerio Zerby decided to genetically modify the brain of laboratory mice so that they could selectively control the release of norepinephrine. The fact is that the concentration of this substance in the brain always increases with any kind of stress.

See also: Scientists are developing a vaccine against stress.

After the animals were ready forIn the study, scientists triggered a release of norepinephrine and performed an MRI scan of the rodent brain. It turned out that the regular release of norepinephrine altered the work of neural networks in the areas responsible for the processing of sensory stimuli, as well as in the amygdala.

All these areas are responsible for processing information and
emotional condition. The fact that people under stress become irritable has long been known, but we did not think that brain damage was so severe. - said Valerio Zerbi.

The danger, according to the authors,It is not so much that stress causes a change in the psycho-emotional sphere, but rather the fact that due to stress neural connections in the brain collapse, which can entail a serious change in a person’s personality and even a deterioration of his mental state.

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