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What Positive Thoughts About Old Age Do To Dementia

Armen Hareyan's picture
Positive thoughts about aging and dementia

Senior citizens who develop positive thoughts about old age are less likely to develop Dementia, even if they carry the high-risk gene, ApoE.


Elderly people who have positive beliefs about old age are less likely to be affected by dementia, according to findings from a study in the scientific journal Plos One.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine in the United States conducted a 4-year study with 4,765 seniors. Their average age was 72 years. At the beginning of the study, no one had Dementia. The Yale researchers wanted to understand if aging-related beliefs can alter the risk of Dementia in older people, including those who carry the high-risk gene, ApoE.

Positive vs Negative Thinking and The Risk of Dementia

The E4 variant of the APOE gene has already been identified as a high-risk factor for Dementia. However, only 47% of APOE 4 carriers develop Dementia. The reason the remaining 53% never develop Dementia is unknown.

Over the course of the study, the researchers found that APOE E4 carriers with positive beliefs about aging had a 2.7% risk of developing Dementia, compared to a risk of 6.1% in people with negative beliefs about aging.

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“We found that positive age beliefs can reduce the risk of one of the most established genetic risk factors of Dementia,” said the lead author, Becca Levy, professor of public health and psychology. “This makes a case for implementing a public health campaign against ageism, which is a source of negative age beliefs.”

Levy conducted this research with her co-authors, Martin Slade and Robert Pietrzak from the Yale School of Medicine, and Luigi Ferrucci, scientific director of the National Institute on Aging.

In fact, last year there was another study, which argued that marriage could help to avoid Dementia. "It is speculated among the researchers that those who are elderly and have never married, may have remained single due to certain cognitive traits, like rigid thinking or ineffective communication, which might also put them at higher risk for Dementia," reads the story. A new review in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that being married might decrease your chance of developing Dementia. This is an amazing link between marriage and Dementia that needs further research and exploration. It explains why married people have a lower risk of Dementia.

These days, it's difficult to keep positive thinking about old age because for most people, aging means being left alone by their children and being forgotten by the society. Also, since many people don't have strong faith in Christ, they are unable to rely on God and have hope in salvation. Once I met a friend in a nursing home, whom I had met in a church, and they had been coming to the church every single Sunday. They were sad and hopeless. I asked, "Are you reading the Word of God?" The answer was no. I don't know why. But they are one of the kindest and caring people I have ever met in my life. If you want medicine for your depression, read the Psalms.

Children have a moral responsibility toward their aging parents. Children must personally care for their elderly parents. Only when the circumstances are such that it is truly impossible for children to care for their aged parents should they be placed in appropriate institutions for care.

Start developing positive thoughts and positive habits from a younger age. If you are a grumpy, negative, pessimistic, and angry person, you can't develop positive thoughts about aging. Turn it around, be cheerful and positive.
The habits we develop in our younger years tend to take us further in that direction as we grow older.