Dementia: negative thinking linked with more rapid cognitive decline, study indicates
Dementia affects an estimated 54 million people worldwide. There no cure, but reports indicate that approximately a third of dementia cases may be preventable, which is why many researchers have begun to focus on identifying risk factors. This would allow for better personalised interventions that may be able to reduce risk, delay, or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Current research shows that genetics, high blood pressure, and smoking are all risk factors for developing dementia. But a lot of people don’t realise that there is also a relationship between mental ill-health and higher dementia risk too. Studies have shown that depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder are all linked to a higher risk of developing dementia in older age. Our recent study builds on this research by examining whether a style of thinking that is common to these mental health conditions is associated with indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.
People experiencing mental ill health frequently engage in a style of thinking called “Repetitive Negative Thinking”. This style of thinking involves the tendency to have negative thoughts about the future (worry) or about the past (rumination), and these thoughts can feel uncontrollable.
In 2015, I developed a hypothesis called [Read more…] about Repetitive negative thinking may increase (or perhaps be caused by) cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s pathology