Missouri: Researchers after a new study have found out that stress can impact aspects of the thinking process of humans including problem-solving. Researchers discovered a potential indicator of how stress affects the brain and alters its ability to solve the problem.
These findings could ultimately help in understanding and optimizing the treatment for patients suffering from stress-related illnesses. The results come from two companion studies involving 45 healthy college-age individuals who were genetically tested for the presence of at least one copy of a variation in the serotonin transporter gene (SERT), which is associated with greater susceptibility to stress.
Participants for the study were given a series of tests while being monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Researchers found that stress did not impact overall performance for either gender or gene group, but effects of stress on performance did relate to changes in the brain's overall functional connectivity in all participants, suggesting the brain could provide a biomarker for the effects of stress on cognition.
“This may begin to help us understand what is going on in the brain when stress is affecting cognition. If we can develop an intervention that affects the brain's networks, we may be able to mitigate the cognitively impairing effects of stress,” said the lead researcher David Beversdorf.