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Major stressful life events can accelerate brain aging in men

A new study found that life's major adverse events, called life-threatening events in the research community, such as divorce, conflict, death in the family or financial difficulties can significantly accelerate aging in the brain in middle-aged men. Only a fateful event could cause the brain to appear a third of a year older than its chronological age, based on an MRI.

The researchers studied nearly 360, mainly white men from 57 to 66.

Chronic stress has long been linked to premature aging, but the study authors say their findings provide a possible link between events vital stressors and brain changes. They say that a larger research group is needed to determine if the results can be replicated.

The study was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging with funds from the National Institutes of Health.

Appalachia Health News is a West Virginia Public Broadcasting project, supported by Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.


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