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Midlife Stress Might Affect Women’s Memory

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Midlife Stress Might Affect Women’s Memory

Stressful experiences are difficult enough in the moment — and have now been shown to have long-lasting impacts. 

Stressful episodes in middle age are associated with greater memory loss among women, but not men, a new study reports. Stressful episodes surveyed in the study included common life events, such as divorce, the death of a loved one, a child moving out, or a sudden injury or sickness. According to the study, stress hormones impact the brain health of women and men differently. For women, the negative impact of stress on the brain is three times greater than men and can cause temporary memory and thinking problems.

Although we can’t necessarily prevent stressful events (or even know when they’re coming), we can manage our responses to them. Practicing healthy behaviors in response to stress – such as prioritizing sleep or exercise – can help reduce the negative impact of stress on the brain over time. To learn more about the impact of stress on women, read the full article at WebMD.