A recent study has found that anxiety during middle age may be linked to higher rates of dementia late in life. The study followed almost 30,000 participants for more than a decade, and there was a clear link between anxiety mid-life and dementia later in life. The study wasn’t a controlled study with the intent to calculate the magnitude of increased risk. Instead, the study simply indicated an increased risk without eliminating other factors.
When experiencing anxiety or stress, the body produces the hormone cortisol and prolonged heightened cortisol levels have been linked to weight gain, lower immune function, lower bone density, higher rates of mental illness and depression, higher rates of heart disease and more. Dementia may be another possible side effect of prolonged increased cortisol levels. On the other hand, anxiety is often a symptom of dementia, making the corollary between the two difficult to connect.
Therapy exists to assist individuals with the reduction of anxiety and cortisol levels. For individuals who live with high stress and anxiety, pursuing therapy to reduce these levels is critical due to the host of other health problems which may result. The possibility of reducing the chances of developing dementia later in life is simply an added bonus to reducing stress.
While there’s no way of eliminating the chances of developing dementia, there are some things one can do to aid in prevention. Reducing stress is one and maintaining heart health through diet and exercise is another. The Alzheimer’s Association also recommends education and regularly getting the right amount of sleep.
How do you recognize dementia? The Alzheimer’s Association has provided 10 signs of dementia which, if you notice any one of them in yourself, a loved one or a client, warrants a visit to a physician for further testing. They are:
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Article Published by WealthManagement.com July 19 2018
Written by Letha Sgritta McDowell