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Medicine

Chronic Stress Could Lead To Depression and Dementia, Scientists Warn (independent.co.uk) 60

schwit1 writes: A major review of published research suggests that chronic stress and anxiety can damage areas of the brain involved in emotional responses, thinking and memory, leading to depression and even Alzheimer's disease. Dr Linda Mah, the lead author of the review carried out at a research institute affiliated to the University of Toronto, said: 'Pathological anxiety and chronic stress are associated with structural degeneration and impaired functioning of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, which may account for the increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and dementia.'
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Chronic Stress Could Lead To Depression and Dementia, Scientists Warn

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  • Of course stress is a killer. Although I do not know if there is a real correlation between them, I have seen women developing breast cancer after long periods of stress so who knows what else it could be bad for. Stress seems like a general malfunction that screws up everything.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @04:59AM (#51364263) Journal
      I like to remember that cortisol, a stress hormone, is also the one that kills salmon after their long stressful swim to their home river.
      • Well, that's a stressful thought

        • I like to remember that cortisol, a stress hormone, is also the one that kills salmon after their long stressful swim to their home river.

          Well, that's a stressful thought

          and you're not even a salmon!
          One shot at sex and they're done...
          I wonder what's more stressful to them
          Transitioning from salt to fresh water
          Climbing mountains via fish ladders and waterfalls
          Knowing they have one shot at reproducing (do these scales make me look fat? do I have something stuck in my teeth? I hope I don't screw up the salmon dance {curse you, Chemical Brothers}, What if he/she doesn't like the color I'm wearing? ...ad infinitum)
          Talk about stress!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Cortisol and, for some of them, bears :)

      • Is workplace stress killing you? Have you been employed and now suffer from depression and dementia? Has someone you know been employed and then died? We can help! Call 1-800-SUE-THEM now! Once again, the number is 1-800-SUE-THEM.

    • *Chronic* stress is a killer. Acute stress, below a certain threshold, is thought to be beneficial for living organisms.

      • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

        Jesus Christ, I thought saying in my OP "long periods of stress" was clear enough.

        So let's say "long periods of stress" or even better: "long periods of stress caused by the same topic" == *Chronic*. OK?

        See my other post about the definition of stress. Short term normal stress doesn't qualify because you do not end up in endless loops:

        http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

        Thanks for the clarification anyway. It might help some.

  • What is stress? Seriously. I mean physiologically.

    • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

      Stress is when parts of your brain get caught in endless loops eating all your CPU.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So you need to strace the runaway program, eh?

    • Re:What is stress? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2016 @05:25AM (#51364303)

      I mean physiologically.

      Anything that strains or exhausts the body. So there are 2 types of stress: eustress, or stress that has short-term benefits like exercise and sex. Then there's distress that has short term damage to the body like minor drug use or a panic attack. Modern living is fairly consistent in its demands on the body, which is usually a good thing allowing the problems of civilization to be structured and compartmentalized. The problem comes when all compartments of modern living cause stress. Then the body (and mind) cannot repair and refresh (and learn). Now people tend to say they're stressed even while doing minor activities, like talking to (polite) strangers. Scientists have determined that the brain in normal use is exhausted before the muscles are, in normal use. So the question becomes: Is this a misnaming of a minor activity which normal people can handle, or do mental tasks cause more distress than physical tasks?

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

        do mental tasks cause more distress than physical tasks?

        2-3 hours of hard thinking can exhaust me more than a 12 hours of physical labor.

        • Yeah, I worked as an IT consultant for almost 10 years where I would encounter different network and computer problems daily.

          It was one of those situations where if I didn't have a solution there was no solution so I was always doing interesting things and learned a ton about different network configurations.

          Anyway, even though I was primarily sedentary, I would come home exhausted every single day.

          I have worked some very physical jobs in my life as well. Most notably, I worked as a loader at UPS for many y

  • Dammit (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well, there's yet another thing to worry about.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @05:25AM (#51364305)

    Stress is known to cause systemic problems, ranging from weight gain, endocrine disruption, hair loss, and now neurodegernative conditions.

    However, the actual costs of these ill health effects is not factored into the cost benefit analyses of major employers in nearly all conditions, as something other than just a potential source of losing valuable worker resources.

    Seems to me that since the US has an endemic problem with stress and mental illness, at the same time also lacking good mental health infrastructure, that those causing the endemic problem (major employers who saddle on way more hours of work per employee than is sane or reasonable) should be made to pay this real cost, by being found culpable for causation of the very real health effects that thier high stress work environments induce, by means of having to pay for adult care in appropriate facilities for dementia patients, and for the costs of antipsychotics, psychoactive drugs, and mental health therapy for those they have harmed and are actively harming.

    By introducing this new liability, the profit motive of forcing people into those situations will evaporate, and better working conditions should come forward naturally.

    Of course, the reality is that these employers will seek radical outsourcing first, but if they all try that all at once, congress would have no choice but to intervene and introduce new labor and subcontracting laws.

    Other than forcing employers to bear the weight of their own shit, (and thus reducing profits), I dont see the downside.

    • The stress and depression on display in "Getting the Brush [youtube.com]", for example, is hilarious.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by DigiShaman ( 671371 )

      Stress is also why people will vote for people like Trump or Sanders. They're tired of being used up by the elite only to be expended like a used husk and replaced with fresh young replacements. Does the world really need 6 billon people on the planet when the "owner class" use automation and robotic to replace people" These political and owner class elite should be so damn lucky civil war hasn't started yet and they be overthrown in a French Revolution style result.

    • the actual costs of these ill health effects is not factored into the cost benefit analyses of major employers in nearly all conditions

      That is because it isn't the employers cost. "If you don't like it, quit"
    • Of course, the reality is that these employers will seek radical outsourcing first, but if they all try that all at once, congress would have no choice but to intervene and introduce new labor and subcontracting laws.

      Don't take this personal, because I believe you mean well. But I woke up this morning with a visceral reaction to BS this morning! In case you haven't noticed, Congress and the current POTUS are bought and paid for. Paul Ryan and the rest are full pro-outsourcing!!! It cuts right through party

    • by nido ( 102070 )

      and for the costs of antipsychotics, psychoactive drugs, and mental health therapy for those they have harmed and are actively harming.

      Most of the types of drugs you mention are worse than doing nothing. There are some good therapists out there, but they are uncommon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    See subject: "Salt & Peppered" here because of it as a programmer-analyst/software-engineer & before it could ruin me I backed off "semi-retiring" early as far as working for others (had to, wasn't born rich etc.) deciding to start a business of my own (which has its stresses but it's not nearly as bad/constant as designing w/ analysis + coding & testing - plus, I get ALL the gravy minus overheads instead of "peanuts percentages" as compared to the entire cake that was possible by making others

  • by umafuckit ( 2980809 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @07:04AM (#51364441)
    In case you want to read the real article: here it is [expirebox.com]
  • how can you tell if your boss stressed and suffering from dementia or just stupid? ;)

  • by cyberchondriac ( 456626 ) on Monday January 25, 2016 @12:56PM (#51366589) Journal
    Not surprising at all, especially the depression. A major component of stress is realizing or feeling like you don't have control over your life (due to your job, boss, spouse, financial situation etc.) so naturally that can lead to depression. What's the point of living without free will, feeling trapped? Gone on long enough, with cortisol eating at your innards, you'll gain weight too, which can just feed into more depression, as it lowers your health and self-esteem. Dementia seems a bit more complicated, but not I can't say I'm surprised, as paranoia and cynicism, an outcome of the depression, would be likely gateways.
    • You've just explained why half of the USA (and probably most other advanced countries) population is on antidepressants.

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