Life-changing religious experience linked to brain atrophy

A US study has found older adults claiming to have had a life-changing religious experience showed evidence of a shrinking hippocampus, the region of the brain that controls learning and memory.

The hippocampal shrinkage, also called"‘brain atrophy" is also associated with neurogenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, but this link was found to be unrelated.

The study measured changes in the hippocampus in 268 people using MRI scans. Researchers found that brain atrophy was influenced by certain religious factors, suggesting one reason for their finding was the stress associated with holding unique religious beliefs.

Read more at Duke University Medical Centre