Stress Can Sharpen Memory

Stress is not always bad. There are also the benefits derived from this condition. A new study published in the journal eLife show, stress may sharpen memory.

Chronic stress has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and weaken immunity. However it turns out, the stress also increases the performance of the brain, particularly the ability to remember. With notes, stress occurs in the short term.

Studies conducted on rats found significant results. Stress causes stem cells in the brains of mice that turn into new nerve cells. The cells will be grown two weeks later, thus improving brain performance.

"Maybe you always think stress is a bad thing, but it was not well," said Daniela Kaufer, professor of integrative biology at the University of California USA.

He said that stress in some measure on whether an awareness, behavior, and cognitive abilities are optimal. "Under stress, the brain may be more vigilant so as to make you act better," he said.

Many studies have shown that chronic stress increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can suppress the production of new nerve cells in the brain, thus worsening memory. Increased stress hormones are also associated with the risk of obesity, heart disease, and depression.

However, Kaufer said, the effects of acute stress may still not widely known, so that the results of these studies are still ambiguous.

To break this confusion, the researchers uses mice as experimental animals. The mice were made with the stress locked in the cage for a few hours. This will trigger rats produce stress hormones equivalent to those experiencing chronic stress, even if only for a few hours.

As a result, cell division occurs multiple parts of the brain in the hippocampus region of the brain. The researchers also found that rats that stress has a better ability to recall after two weeks.

The researchers said the effect of stress is not obtained directly, but requires at least two weeks. In this time, nerve cells need time to maturity.

However, the researchers noted, acute and intense stress can be harmful because it would make the trauma afterwards.

"But there is a positive message that can be taken, that stress can make you better, as long as the appropriate level and duration. Well as, how you interpret and understand it," said Kaufer.