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Persistent Negative Thinking May Increase Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

by Irma Katherine
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According to a study by University College London (UCL), people with persistent negative thinking experience a more pronounced decline in cognitive ability and memory, which is one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.


Scientists have found that psychological factors are associated with dementia risk. (Photo via pexels.com)

London, UK (Merxwire) – Do you find that optimistic elders are healthier and their cognitive ability & memory are better? Research confirms that optimistic or negative thinking can affect the brain! Scientists have found that negative thinking can damage the brain, which boosts Alzheimer’s markers and may lead to an increased risk of dementia. The research was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

The research team recruited more than 300 subjects over 55 and followed them for two years. Participants were asked to answer questions and indicate how they felt about the negative experience. These questions focus on repetitive negative thinking patterns, such as reflections on past events or worries about the future.

In addition to assessing the participants’ attention, language, spatial cognition, and attention, the researchers also performed Positron emission tomography on some subjects to measure the number of tau and amyloid deposits in their brains. Because these two proteins accumulate in the brain, they may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found that participants with repetitive negative thoughts were more likely to deposit tau and amyloid in their brains and experienced more cognitive and memory declines than other participants. Therefore, the researchers speculate that repetitive negative thinking maybe a new risk factor for dementia and may contribute to dementia in a unique way.

Spend more time with elders and help them stay away from depression and dementia. (Photo via pexels.com)

“Depression and anxiety in mid-life and old age are already known to be risk factors for dementia. Here, we found that certain thinking patterns implicated in depression and anxiety could be an underlying reason why people with those disorders are more likely to develop dementia .” Natalie L. Marchant, the lead author of the study, said in a UCL Press release.

“Taken alongside other studies, which link depression and anxiety with dementia risk, we expect that chronic negative thinking patterns over a long period of time could increase the risk of dementia. We do not think the evidence suggests that short-term setbacks would increase one’s risk of dementia.”

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the main causes of dementia. Approximately 60% to 70% of dementia patients worldwide come from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, and most patients are over 65 years old.

The onset of this disease is slow and usually worsens over time. Although the true cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown, and some experts believe the disease is largely genetic, in recent decades, cognitive decline and Several psychological risk factors are associated. If you have older people in your family, you can try to spend more time with them and help them see things positively.

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