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Major stresses like divorce can age your brain by 4 years

Divorce is considered among the most stressful things a person can go through. Stress researchers have noted that divorce, along with other difficult life events, can have ongoing affects on a person's mental health. While divorce is often a necessary step for Alberta couples, many individuals are susceptible to negative side effects from the stresses brought about by divorce. Recent studies have shown that major stressful life events can age the human brain by four years.

One study looked at a cross section of Caucasian, African American and Hispanic individuals. The participants recorded information about stressful life experiences, including divorce, then completed cognitive testing. The testing measured problem-solving and memory.

Across all races, researchers found a correlation between stressful events and declining late-life cognitive function. Other studies have noted that groups more likely to undergo stressful life situations have higher rates of dementia. Women experiencing high stress in middle age also have a 65 percent higher risk of dementia than those who do not, researchers say.

This growing body of evidence suggesting that stress has a negative impact on the brain. This research serves to help medical professionals prevent dementia and encourage brain health in people of all ages. Research like this is relevant to people all over the world, including those undergoing divorce in Alberta.

The more stressful a divorce, the more likely it is to result in health problems for those involved. While conflict is often unavoidable in divorce, consulting an Alberta divorce lawyer and having an intermediary to help sort things out can greatly lessen the strain. Considering physical and mental health is important in every stage of a person's life, especially those which are high-stress in nature.

Source: globalnews.ca, "Major stresses like divorce and getting fired can age your brain by 4 years", Dani-Elle Dube, July 17, 2017

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