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George Lab News

It Might Stress You Out to Know What Stress Is Doing to Your Brain

A new study finds that stress may impair your memory now and quicken cognitive decline later in life.  In a study with more than 2,000 healthy, middle-age volunteers, doctors found that those with higher blood levels of the hormone cortisol — an indicator of stress — performed more poorly on memory tests and had a slightly shrunken brain volume compared to those with a normal level of the hormone. The effect was more evident among women in the study.


Recovering from stroke

Progress is being made to help prevent strokes, but rehabilitation has lagged and mostly involves relearning and practicing basic skills. But there is hope. Sarah Heilshorn, PhD, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, and Paul George, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology, whose research in rats uncovered a protein produced by immature nerve cells that helps restore function of the nerve cells in the area surrounding the stroke site, are interested in an unusual approach: injectable gels that could deliver powerful, localized doses of drugs capable of rebuilding damaged brain tissues.