How Can Cortisol Affect Brain Function?

How Can Cortisol Affect Brain Function

Cortisol is a hormone that effects our body’s reaction to stress. Cortisol affects a large range of processes in the body, including our metabolism and immune responses. Cortisol, as many different hormones, can become problematic when the levels are too high. When our bodies are constantly in fight or flight, our cortisol levels are increased which can lead to negative side effects. A list of the most common side effects are listed below.

What Research Has Found On Cortisol and Brain Function

A recent article by Karen Weintraub, shows how everyday stress can take a toll on brain function in early- middle aged people. “The study of more than 2,000 people, most of them in their 40s, found those with the highest levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception, and attention.” (Weintraub, 2018).

It was also found that there are physical changes that occur within the brain that can be linked to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and forms of dementia, when cortisol levels are too high. However, one important take away from this article is a message from Seshadri, the lead researcher in the study, stating “When challenges come our way, getting frustrated is very counterproductive, not just to achieving our aims but perhaps to our capacity to be productive.” (Weintraub, 2018). In other words, it is important to not get too frustrated when we are stressed because it can lower our ability to be productive when reducing cortisol levels. Looking at factors that influence stress, such as, sleep, diet, and exercise can assist in lowering these levels. These factors could affect our bodies not only today, but in the future.

How Chiropractic Neurology Can Improve Brain Function

Within our practice, we focus on brain health and how improving brain function can also assist with improving other areas where imbalances may be found in the body.  Lab testing and nutrition visits are a key part in improving your health, because they can look at imbalances that may be occurring within the body. Further, brain based exercises also assist in keeping your body strong after an adjustment in the office. It allows the body and brain to become stronger with time, improving your overall health. It is never too late to start improving your health and lowering cortisol levels!

If you would like more information, please feel free to call our office.

Here’s To A Better Life,

Dr. Steve Puckette


Weintraub, K. (2018, October 25). “Stress Hormone” Cortisol Linked to Early Toll on Thinking Ability. Retrieved from