All performers and musicians and sports performers know you need that edge, says Robertson who, as the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Scientist at the Center for Brain Health, spends part of his year at the University of Texas at Dallas institute and part in Ireland. As he says in an interview with Brain Matters, the Center for Brain Health publication, moderate stress, properly handled, increases alertness, which in turn helps brain circuits function more efficiently. Severe stress does cause impairment in memory, Robertson continues. Stress, properly conceived of, is a challenge that can be incredibly enriching for the brain.
- After having a genetic test, the New Jersey uncle learned he was, indeed, positive for a mutation in the BRCA1 gene that is known to increase the risk of breast cancer and several other cancers in both women and men.
- Because he was positive, it meant his brothers — Dranove's father and the Chicago uncle — each had a 50-50 chance of having inherited the mutation as well.
- The brothers had to decide whether to be tested. Dranove encouraged his father to do it by explaining the potential effects on his children and grandchildren.
"He cites as an example a study of people in their 70s who were experiencing the beginnings of memory failure. Two years later, follow-up tests showed a steep decline in memory — except for one group: those "who had had one, two or three stressful life events during that period," he says."