Researchers found that short term stress can affect memory abilities and learning. Previous studies already found that long term stress and stress that lasts couple of weeks or months can impair brain – cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory and now this new research confirmed that same thing is happening with short term stress.

Experts said that stress can not be avoided because it’s constant in our lives and this new research can be important for current development of drugs that might prevent some undesirable effects and offer insights into why some people have problems retaining information during stressful situations. Researchers found that learning and memory take place at synapses which are junctions through which brain cells communicate and these synapses reside on specialized branchlike protrusions on neurons called dendritic spines.

Experts found that the release of CRH in the brain’s primary learning and memory center led to the rapid disintegration of these dendritic spines and this led to limited ability of synapses to collect and store memories. When interaction between CRH molecules with their receptor molecules was blocked experts found that it eliminated stress damage to dendritic spines in the hippocampal cells involved with learning and memory.