HEALTH

Stress lead to forgetfulness, researchers say

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Many of us know it: We feel frazzled, harried and forgetful. Sometimes we can't remember where we put our glasses or car keys.

This modern affliction has the medical name “subjective cognitive impairment” or “busy life syndrome,” as the CPS researchers call it. Sufferers describe feeling chronically stressed and having difficulty remembering things.

“The quantity of information and data out there is just too much to process,” said Dr. David Ballard of the American Psychological Association. “People forget keys, forget why they came there.”

Subjective cognitive impairment usually affects people when they grow old. Dr. Alan Wade of CPS Research says forgetfulness is now affecting people earlier in life.

CPS researchers are experimenting with prescribing small doses of the Alzheimer's drug Memantine to treat people who are forgetful. They blame the constant bombardment of the Internet, social media, cell phones, and other media in the workplace.

According to the American Psychological Association, 36 percent of Americans experience chronic work stress.

They are working with companies to find ways to de-stress employees without the use of prescription drugs. One company, for example, is holding a meditation class.

“You find a place to rest in the middle of a work day where you are inundated with information all day long,” said Charlie Mercer, a technical writer.

“It definitely calms you down and you don't feel like you're racing through the rest of the day,” said Michelle Laino, an accountant.

Some companies are bringing in massage therapists and yoga instructors in an effort to make their workers feel less stressed.

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