With the stress of midterms setting in, do you find yourself forgetting some of the most basic things? Things like meeting times or plans for the week can be harder to remember as more and more things get put on our academic plate and increase our levels of stress. For a while now, researchers have known that severe stress lasting months can have harmful effects on our cell's communication with themselves. A study from the University of California, Irvine however shows that short term stress can have similar effects on our body. Researchers found that short term acute stress activated selective molecules called corticotropin releasing hormones, which disrupted the process by which the brain collects and stores memories. Learning and memory take place at synapses in our brain. Through rat and mouse studies, it was found that an increase in corticotropin led to the rapid disintegration of dendritic spines, which then in turn, led to a decrease in the ability of the synapses to collect information. The news isn't all bad however, once the corticotropin was removed, the spines seemed to grow back as if nothing happened. So while short term stress does harm your short term memory, the damage doesn't seem to be permanent.