How revenue decline affects the brain

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — How does a person decrease wages? It is logical to assume that it is not very good.

As it turned out, for each of us this is not just a frustrating event, but an event that directly affects our cognitive function.

A new study published in the journal Neurology showed that young people with annual incomes falling by 25% or more have a higher risk of thinking problems and future brain health problems.

“Watching Americans in the late 2000s, when many people faced economic instability, we saw that a significant drop in income, and especially during periods of peak earnings, is associated with unhealthy brain aging in the long term,” the authors write.

A total of 3287 people who were 23 to 35 years old at the time of the study took part in the study. They reported their annual income every three years or every five years for 20 years. According to the number of income drops for the control period, the participants were divided into three groups:

  • 1,780 people who did not have a drop in income;
  • 1,108 people who had one significant decrease (25% or more);
  • 399 people who had two significant declines or more.

Volunteers were also asked to pass several tests for memory and speed of thinking, where participants with the highest frequency of a significant drop in income showed worse results. In addition, they usually needed more time to complete each task.

And the conclusions were saved after taking into account other factors that could affect the speed and quality of thinking, such as high blood pressure, educational level, physical activity and smoking.

Some more scary statistics? The control MRI performed in the final part of the study made it possible to state that in people who were constantly faced with a decrease in income, their brain volume was less and the connections between neurons were weaker.

Scientists say that, in addition to the negative effects of stress, this state of affairs can be explained by the fact that people with unstable or low incomes have limited access to medical care and are usually worse at dealing with addictions.


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