Negative negative events in life, such as death in the family, financial difficulties or serious medical crisis, can accelerate brain aging, according to a study.
Researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine discovered that such life-threatening events (FLE) also seem to specifically accelerate aging in the brain.
The study, published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, found that major adverse events in life, such as divorce, separation, spontaneous abortion or the death of a family member or friend, can significantly accelerate the aging in the brains of older men. 19659002] Specifically, they found that, on average, an FLE was badociated with an increase in the predicted brain age difference (PBAD) of 0.37 years.
In other words, a single adverse event made the brain appear physiologically older approximately -three of a year than the chronological age of the person, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The researchers studied 359 men, ages 57 to 66 years. They asked participants to list a list of life-changing events in the last two years, which were compared to a similar measure collected five years earlier.
The summaries encapsulated the stressful middle-aged events that had occurred in the first two and last two years of the past seven years.
All participants underwent MRI and physical and psychological evaluations within one month after completing the most recent self-reports.
MRIs evaluated physiological aspects of the brain, such as volume and cortical thickness – a measure of the cerebral cortex or outer layer of the brain linked to consciousness, memory, attention, thought and other key elements of the brain. cognition.
These neuroanatomical measurements were then badyzed using advanced software to predict brain age.
Having more FLE in the middle of life, particularly in relation to divorce / separation or the death of a family, was badociated with an anticipated advanced brain aging, "said Sean Hatton, a publication PhD student at UC San Diego
Hatton said exposure to chronic stress has been badociated with biological aging and premature aging, linked, for example, to oxidative and mitochondrial cell damage, immune system response, and genomic changes.
Researchers said that the findings provide a link between aging and molecular changes in the structure of response and important stress events  They note that the study was a snapshot of a narrow demographic group: older, predominantly white men.It is not known whether women or other ethnicities would show similar results.
The authors said that additional studies were needed. and wider ones that would involve a larger and more diverse number of participants to further validate their findings.
However, they suggest that the use of tools to predict brain age could be clinically useful to help patients understand their brain health in relation to their age and in clinical trials where it could improve study design and recruitment .
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