Constant negative thoughts can cause neurodegenerative diseases in old age. One of the factors for this is the accumulation of beta-amyloid and Tau protein.
People constantly resorting to negative thoughts, have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Article about it was published in the edition called Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Scientists led by Natalie Marchant of the University College London conducted a study among people aged 55 years and older. The data showed that the “repetitive negative thinking” (repetitive negative thinking, RNT) leads to the deposition in the brain of harmful proteins and the associated decline of cognitive functions.
According to the authors, RNT must be considered as a potential risk factor for development of neurodegenerative diseases. You also need to research the effects of psychological tools (such as meditation and mindfulness therapy) to such patterns of thinking to determine their effectiveness as means against dementia.
“Depression and anxiety in elderly and senile age is a known risk factors for the development of dementia. In this work we found that certain patterns of thinking associated with depression and anxiety, can be the basis [биохимических] the reasons due to which people with these disorders often develop dementia, says Natalie Marchant. We hope that our findings can be used to develop strategies aimed at reducing the risk of dementia in people, helping them to reduce their level of negative thinking”.
In a study conducted by Marchant and her colleagues, were involved in 360 people aged 55 years. Within two years, the subjects answered questions about how they respond to experienced a negative experience, reflecting on the past and worrying about the future. The participants took regular measurements of symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as cognitive abilities. 113 subjects conducted positron emission tomography to determine the levels of Tau-protein and beta-amyloid — two proteins that directly affect the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Those who showed more patterns RNT, were more frequent in the deposits of the neurodegenerative proteins and a more pronounced decline of cognitive functions and memory impairment. While depression and anxiety as such were also associated with a reduction in cognitive abilities, but not with the deposition of Tau-protein and amyloid.
The study authors suggest that RNT may affect the risk of neurodegenerative diseases by unique biochemical mechanisms. “Understanding factors that can increase the risk of developing dementia, it is vital to improve our knowledge of this devastating condition and the development of prevention strategies. Shows the relationship between the recurrent negative thinking patterns and cognitive decline and the emergence of harmful deposits interesting, but we need more research to better understand the matter, says co-author with Fiona Carragher. — Most of the people who participated in the study were already identified as at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, so we need to figure out how this affects the population as a whole.”
In the future, the researchers intend to find out whether psychotherapeutic techniques to influence negative thinking and, thus, to reduce the risk of developing diseases associated with RNT. Marchant and her colleagues are already working on a major project to study the effects of meditation on dementia.
Previously, we wrote about the fact that that living near a road that leads to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, and postoperative delirium may indicate the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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