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Chronic Stress Can Hurt Your Memory

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(CNN) – Do you tend to forget things when you’re stressed? Like when you’re late for a meeting and can’t remember where you left your car keys? Or when you have to give a big presentation and suddenly forget all your talking points seconds before you start?

There’s nothing like stress to make your memory go a little spotty. A 2010 study found that chronic stress reduces spatial memory: the memory that helps you recall locations and relate objects.

Hence, your missing car keys.

University of Iowa researchers also found a connection between the stress hormone cortisol and short-term memory loss in older adults. Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience this week, found that cortisol reduced synapses — connections that help store and recall information — in the pre-frontal cortex.

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