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04th Nov 2014

New Study Finds That Prolonged Time Working Shift Work Does Damage to Your Brain

The study shows a loss in brain functioning over the course of ten years.


If you are working anti-social hours or shift work, you could be losing a lot of brain power according to a new study.

Research carried out by a team at the University of Toulouse in France has found that working anit-social or shift hours can prematurely age the brain. The study also found that this type of work can dull intellectual ability and lead to a decrease in the ability to think and remember.

The study shows that if people work for ten years on changing shifts, there could be a loss of brain function and abilities that is equivalent to six and a half years of age-related decline.

It was shown that stopping this type of work will provoke a recovery – but the recovery could take up to five years according to the researchers.

“Shift work chronically impairs cognition, with potentially important safety consequences not only for the individuals concerned, but also for society,” said the research.

More than 3,000 workers were assessed for the study which also revealed that the disruption to the body clock caused stress on the function of the brain. The workers who took part in the study had their brains and mental capabilities examined over a ten-year period.

Approximately a fifth of these workers worked a shift cycle that changed between mornings, afternoons and nights. Over the course of the study, these shift workers had lower average scores for processing speed, memory and overall brain function in comparison to those working the regular nine to five.

It was also revealed that the longer somebody worked shifts, the bigger the problem became.