Special Report

Stress and Other Things That Can Lead to Memory Loss and Brain Shrinkage

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16. High cholesterol

Some research has linked high levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, with a buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain. This accumulation can destroy connections between brain cells. The brain depends on cholesterol. So much so that a quarter of the cholesterol in the body is found in the small organ. Its role is to surround the nerve cells and protect the electrical impulses that regulate thought, movement, and sensation possible.

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17. Shrinkage of the hippocampus

Gray matter in the left part of the hippocampus has been found to correlate with the performance in memory and language tasks. The small, horseshoe-shaped organ is important for consolidating information from short-term to long-term memory. Damage to the organ makes forming and storing new memories difficult.

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