Consistent Negative Thoughts Could Increase Your Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease
Anyone who’s family has dealt with Alzheimer’s Disease know’s one of the most devastating illness that families go through, and so any good news on understanding or treating it is surely welcome.
Thanks to a decent amount of funding and research, we’re learning more all of the time – and this recent study concluded that persistent worrying about the future, or an inability to let go of past regrets, can have a detrimental effect on cognition of all types later in life.
That includes an increased risk for dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Science may not fully understand why, but researchers have accepted for some time that our thoughts can and do influence our physical health.
The Cognitive Debt hypothesis states that certain negative thoughts and mental states contribute to the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This most recently study analyzed the mental states of 360 people over 55, specifically their tendency to fall into repetitive negative thinking (RNT).
They found that high levels of RNT were associated with cognitive decline, including episodic memory and global cognition – two big predictors of Alzheimer’s.
Not only that, but brain scans in the patients revealed a harmful buildup of protein plaques in the brain, which is another early indicator of dementia.
A third indicator, an elevated presence of amyloid-beta protein, was also found in the brains of people with negative thought patterns. Its existence is also strongly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Author Natalie Marchant had this to say in an official statement.
“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.”
Other risk factors, like high blood pressure and high levels of stress have also been found to stimulate the buildup of these harmful proteins.
This seems to suggest that a low-stress, positive lifestyle could prevent a lot of heartache down the line.