Life can be challenging. The reality is that only a few of us survive into old age without experiencing a load of stress due to demanding work, financial problems, family duties, the ups and downs of marriage, and a host of other factors.
There is mounting evidence that stress contributes to dementia. So what does this mean in today’s stressed-out society? Dementia care experts in our senior assisted living facility share some important things you need to know about the connection between stress and dementia.
The Connection Between Dementia And Stress
You could be concerned about your future, especially if dementia runs in your family. Don’t be too panicked just yet if the news that stress is a risk factor for dementia makes you anxious about your stress. You have a great deal of power over stress. As the research linking it to dementia grows, it appears that reducing stress may actually help people reduce their risk of developing dementia.
Studies on the connection between stress and dementia are still in their infancy. The alleged link between stress and dementia has to be investigated further. Additionally, scientists are still unsure of how stress could contribute to dementia. The research has revealed the following thus far:
- A research of 62 seniors with an average age of 78 found that prolonged stress can raise the risk of dementia in adults with mild cognitive impairment.
- High stress hormone levels are associated with greater amounts of tau and amyloid precursor protein in mice, both of which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Stressful situations cause the brain to age more quickly. In a research involving 1,320 adults, the brain aged by four years for every stressful event—such as getting fired or dealing with financial difficulties. This implies that stress has a cumulative effect, with each stressful situation raising the likelihood of dementia.
- Another study that tracked 800 women for 38 years discovered a link between middle-aged stress levels and an increased risk of dementia.
- A connection was also found in a study of existing research on stress and dementia. Chronic stress has been linked to a considerable risk of dementia, according to researchers. The results of this study are particularly compelling because it examined multiple prior studies.
- A link between dementia and depression—which can both cause and be caused by stress—was discovered in a study of 1,700 seniors with an average age of 77. Seniors who did not initially exhibit any signs of dementia were more likely to do so if they also experienced depression. Overall, depression was responsible for 4.4% of the disparities in mental decline that could not be explained by brain damage associated with dementia. According to a different study, adults over the age of 55 are more likely to develop dementia if their depression worsens over time.