A new study found that major adverse life events, called fateful life events by the research community, such as divorce, conflict, death in the family or financial hardship can measurably accelerate aging in the brain in middle aged men. Just one fateful event could cause the brain to appear a third of year older than their chronological age, based on an MRI.
The researchers studied almost 360, primarily white men ages 57 to 66.
Chronic stress has long been linked with premature aging, but the study’s authors say their findings provide a possible link between stressful life events and brain changes. They say a broader research pool is needed to determine if findings can be replicated.
The study was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
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