August 5th, 2017| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


An ongoing University of Wisconsin Study (the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention: WRAP) has shown that stress “ages” the brain. Findings presented recently at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London pointed to the negative impact on brain function of even one stressful experience in life. Cognitive decline was significantly affected, said the scholars, after studying 1,320 subjects who were asked about stress in their lives as children and as adults. These volunteers who had an average age of 58 underwent cognitive testing for memory and executive functions such as planning, attention span, problem solving, flexibility, etc.

Said lead researcher Megan Zuelsdorf, of UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health:

Did you have a parent who drank so much that it caused problems? Did you have a parent who was out of work when they didn’t want to be? Were you ever expelled from school? On average, across the African-American sample as a whole, stressful experiences were the equivalent of four years of chronological age. So one stressful event would make you look like someone four years older than you but who hadn’t experienced any stressful events. Whereas in non-Hispanic whites it was more like every stressful event was the equivalent of a year-and-a-half.”

And African-Americans apparently had 60% more stressful life-events. The 27 stressful occurrences in life included: The 27 stressful life events identified by researchers are: repeating a year of school; being sent away from home for doing something wrong; father or mother unemployed; one or both parents abusing alcohol or drugs; dropping out of, or getting expelled or being suspended from, school; failing school; getting fired; long-term unemployment; losing a parent; divorce of parents; an affair by a spouse/partner; significant difficulties with in-laws; loss of a sibling or a child; having a child experience a life-threatening injury; losing a home to fire, flood, or disaster; physical or sexual assault; serious legal difficulties; being jailed; becoming bankrupt; entering the military; and experienceing combat.

But Dr. Zuelsdorf was encouraged!

It’s important to recognize it may seem like this is bad news. It’s actually very promising. What these stressful experiences represent is a modifiable risk pathway. So it’s not all genetic. It’s not predetermined. It’s not innate. It can be changed.”

Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, said:

We know that prolonged stress can have an impact on our health, so it’s no surprise that this study indicates stressful life events may also affect our memory and thinking abilities later in life. However, it remains to be established whether these stressful life events can lead to an increased risk of dementia.”

Stress, though, is part of the human condition. It is unavoidable.

For a person is born for trouble,
Job 5:7

Man, who is born of woman, lives a few days full of turmoil.
Job 14:1

It is the human condition, sin-afflicted, broken and mortal. Full of turmoil, indeed.

But the question is: How are we handling the stress that is integral to the human condition?

Jesus declared:

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
John 14:27

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
… I am gentle and humble in heart ….
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28–30

He is for us, the One called …

… Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Go in peace!

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