One of the areas Margaret works in is the effect of depression on brain function. It is very common for a depressed person to feel like they are having difficulties with their memory. Prolonged depression can actually cause the part of the brain associated with memory to shrink, which in turn causes memory failure. When someone comes to see her with memory problems she will assess their memory function to determine if their difficulties have an underlying pathological cause or are just the result of their depression. Margaret can then determine a therapy program to help.
Another of the areas Margaret works in is how stress can affect our brain function, in particular our memory. We all live with stress. A moderate amount activates our brain cells, which enhances our concentration and memory and allows us to deal with the cause of the stress. Years of chronic stress, however, dull our minds and promote chronic diseases such as hypertension and coronary artery disease. In particular, chronically elevated levels of stress can actually impair our ability to form new memories and can even damage our brain cells. Fortunately, reducing the stress or learning how to better deal with it can help restore normal brain function.