A study conducted with over 4000 older adults (aged 60+) by Yale University found that positive beliefs on aging had a significant impact on the development of dementia. They found that participants who had positive beliefs on aging reduced their risk of dementia by 44 percent, and that those who had a genetic predisposition for dementia the risk almost halved. Dr. Levy and her colleagues recruited 4765 “dementia free” adults, with an average age of 72. All participants were assed using an “Attitude towards Ageing” scale which posed statements about aging to which they had to determine if they agreed, strongly agreed, disagreed, strongly disagreed or were neutral. 26% of the study group were those who carried the APOE-e4 gene variant, which is one of the strongest risk factors for dementia. Even with a strong genetic predisposition, positive attitudes towards aging had an effect on reducing risk of developing dementia. The study took into account other factors that may contribute to dementia risk including age, education, sex and race to isolate their results. Study experts say more research needs to be done before we can say that changing one’s way of thinking could impact one’s development of dementia, but this has proven to be an interesting study.
Author: Olivia Willis
Date Retrieved: February 9th 2018