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Negative thinking can increase dementia risk

New research finds that repetitive negative thinking has been associated with depositing harmful proteins in the brain.

Having constant negative thoughts can increase the risk of developing dementia over a long period of time, scientists believe.
Researchers at University College London said that repetitive negative thinking (RNT) has been linked to the deposition of harmful proteins in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s condition. The risks were also related to long periods of RNT, they added, rather than short-term negative thinking.

Depression and anxiety in midlife and old age are already known to be risk factors for dementia,” said Dr Natalie Marchant, the lead author from the UCL division of psychiatry.

“Here, we found that certain thinking patterns implicated in depression and anxiety could be an underlying reason why people with those disorders are more likely to develop dementia.

“We expect that chronic negative thinking patterns over a long period of time could increase the risk.”

The study of 292 people over the age of 55 was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, which was supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Fiona Carragher, executive analyst and Alzheimer’s Society influencer, said: “Most of the people in the study were already identified as being at higher risk of Alzheimer’s, so we would need to see if these results are echoed within the general population.”

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