Science is showing that chronic stress does alter neurochemicals and the neurohormones in the brain. However, various brain regions will respond differently to stress, for example, the hippocampus which is critically involved in the process of learning and memory is very sensitive to chronic stress over time. The dentritic arbors (information receiving portion of the neuron) has been shown to detract over time. Also the hippocampus which is responsive for disarming the steroid reaction in the stress response, when damaged, one’s stress reaction will actually become heightened to create an exacerbated stress cycle, almost like a heightened loop effect.
Additionally, researchers have discovered a strong affect on the individuals’ ability to apply spatial memory as a result of chronic stress. It is also likely that this disability has been worsened by the onset of the GPS as well as smart phones. Another curious impact that chronic stress has been shown to have on the brain, is the individuals’ higher brain matter (in the prefrontal cortex) breaks down over time as a result of stress hormones building up in the higher brain. Additionally, because the person is spending more time operating in the survival brain (primal brain) they are actually expanding the function of the amygdala which is the fear based center of the brain. So you can now see the importance of addressing ones’ chronic stress symptoms.