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AD/PD 2022 | The impact of extreme stress on the brain: Holocaust survivors study

Ivan Rektor, MD, CSc, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, comments on a study examining the impact of extreme stress on the hippocampus in Holocaust survivors. The study suggests that after more than 70 years, the impact of surviving the Holocaust on brain function is significant – findings show the reduction of several cortical areas related to stress, such as insula, anterior cingulate, and ventromedial cortex but not a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus or amygdala. A second studying that included not only Holocaust survivors but also their relatives found that at least three generations of survivors of concentration camps had significantly less grey matter in brain areas responsible for stress response. Additionally, the effects of prenatal stress in Holocaust survivors offspring are also being investigated. This interview took place at the AD/PD™ 2022 Conference in Barcelona, Spain.