Positive thinking about aging may protect against dementia. A new research suggests that people with a positive belief towards aging may be less likely to develop dementia.
A certain gene called ApoE which raises the risk for dementia is considered by many to be the primary genetic risk factor.
Researchers found that Study participants with positive beliefs about aging had a nearly 44 percent lower risk of developing dementia than those with negative beliefs.
However, the study only shows an association between people’s beliefs and their dementia risk, according to director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, Keith Fargo.
Previous research has shown that attitudes towards growing age may influence cognitive performance because they impact stress levels.
Becca Levy, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health and team looked at 4,765 dementia-free adults at the beginning of their study. 26 percent of participants had an E4 variant of the ApoE gene and 91 percent of them were white. Their attitudes toward age were assessed by asking them a standard set of questions.
For instance, they were asked questions like “The older I get, the more useless I feel.” Levy and team analyzed them for a period of 4 years.
They found that among those that had the ApoE E4 genetic variant, 49.8 percent, people with positive attitudes towards age were less likely to develop dementia than those with negative age attitude.
Levy said, “The results of this study suggest that positive thinking about aging, and beliefs which are modifiable and have been found to reduce stress, can act as a protective factor, even for older individuals at high risk of dementia.”