Alzheimer: Shocked! Repeated negative thinking is associated with an increased risk of dementia!
Last Update: 2020-06-16
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June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Long-term negative thinking may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study led by University College LondonIn a study of people over the age of 55 published in the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia, the researchers found that "repeated negative thinking" (RNT) was associated with subsequent cognitive decline and harmful brain protein deposits associated with Alzheimer's diseaseThe researchers say it's time to study RNT as a potential risk factor for dementia, and psychological tools, such as mindfulness or meditation, should be studied to see if they reduce the risk of dementiaDr Natalie Marchant, lead author of the study, said: "Depression and anxiety in middle age and old age are known to be risk factors for dementiaHere, we find that certain thinking patterns associated with depression and anxiety may be a potential cause of dementia in people with disabilitiesAlong with other studies linking depression and anxiety to the risk of dementia, we expect long-term negative thinking patterns to increase the risk of dementiaBut we don't think there is evidence that short-term setbacks increase a person's risk of dementiaWe hope our findings can be used to develop intervention strategies to reduce the risk of dementia by helping people reduce their negative thinking patterns"In the Alzheimer's Social Support study, the team from University College London, INSERM and McGill University studied 292 participants in the Alzheimer's cohort study over the age of 55, as well as 68 others from the IMAP-cohort studyOver the course of two years, the study participants answered questions about how they typically viewed negative experiences, focusing on RNT models such as reflecting on the past and worrying about the futureParticipants also completed measurements of depression and anxiety symptomsTheir cognitive function was evaluated, including measuring memory, attention, spatial cognition, and languageThe 113 participants also underwent PET brain scans to measure deposits of tau and amyloid proteins, two proteins that accumulate in the brain and cause the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer'sThe researchers found that those who showed higher RNT patterns experienced more cognitive decline and memory loss over a four-year period (an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease) and were more likely to deposit amyloid and tau protein in their brainsDepression and anxiety were associated with subsequent cognitive decline, but not with amyloid or tau protein deposits, suggesting that RNT may be the main cause of depression and anxiety leading to Alzheimer's riskDr Marchant said: "We believe that repeated negative thinking may be a new risk factor for dementia, as it can lead to dementia in a unique way"The researchers believe that RNT may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease through its effects on stress indicators such as high blood pressure, as other studies have found that physiological stress can lead to amyloid and tau depositsCo-author Dr Gael Chetelat commented: "Our thoughts can have a physiological effect on our health, both positive lying or negativePsychological training exercises such as meditation may help promote positive -- while reducing negative-related psychological planning"Taking care of your mental health is important and should be a major public health priority because it is important not only for people's short-term health and well-being, but also for the ultimate impact on your risk of dementiaPhoto: Researchers hope to find out whether reducing RNT, possibly through mindfulness training or targeted talk therapy, can in turn reduce the risk of dementiaDrMarchant, DrChetelat and other European researchers are currently working on a major project to study whether interventions such as meditation can reduce the risk of dementia by supporting the mental health of older peopleFiona Carragher, director of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Understanding the factors that increase the risk of dementia is important to help us raise awareness of this devastating disease and, where possible, develop prevention strategiesThe link between recurring negative thinking patterns and cognitive decline and harmful sediments is interesting, although we need further research to better understand thisMost of the people involved in the study have been identified as at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, so we need to see if these results are validated in the general population and whether repeated negative thinking increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease"At this precarious time, we hear people on the Alzheimer's Society's dementia hotline every day saying they are scared, confused, or struggling with their mental healthSo it's important to note that this is not to say that short-term negative thinking leads to Alzheimer's diseaseMental health may be an important part of preventing and treating dementia; more research will tell us how much of this is affected(BioValleyBioon.com) References: The Collective negative thinking linked to dementia natalie LMarchant et al, The Seventy smhDOI: 10.1002/alz.12116
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