Assisted Living Facility

Can Stress Lead To Dementia?

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Assisted Living Facility

Assisted Living Facility

Life can be really stressful, especially for seniors. Financial problems, family obligations, jobs, etc can mean that only a very few of us make it to our senior years without facing a pile of stressful situations.  Latest studies suggest that stress plays an important role in the progress of dementia disorders. Senior care experts in our assisted living facility share some of the important things you should understand about stress and dementia.

The Connection Between Stress And Dementia  

If dementia runs in your family, you can feel stressed about what your future holds. But, you can have significant control over your stress. The latest evidence on the connection between stress and dementia suggests that elderly adults will be able to lower their risk of dementia disorders by reducing their stress levels. Studies on the connection between dementia and stress are still in their early stages and more research has to be done to find the correlation between stress and dementia. What the research tells us so far is shared below.

  • In people suffering from mild cognitive impairment, chronic stress can increase the chances of dementia.
  • Highly stressful situations and experiences can age our brains faster. A study involving 1,320 people, each facing different stressful experiences, like facing a financial crisis or being fired from a job, showed that their brains aged by four years. This study suggests a cumulative effect of stress on dementia.
  • Another study that followed eight hundred women for thirty-eight years found that very high levels of stress in the middle ages links with a higher risk of dementia.
  • An analysis that reviewed other studies conducted on the connection between dementia and stress uncovered a connection. As this analysis looked at many previous studies on dementia and stress, the findings of this study are particularly convincing.

Bottom Line

Even if you or your senior loved one struggles to manage stress, understand that it is just one of the many risk factors for dementia disorders. A landmark study revealed that nine risk factors are the best predictors of dementia. These are:

  • Very high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Loss of hearing in midlife
  • Depression

Therefore, it is better to start tackling the dementia risk factors that you can change and stop worrying about those that you cannot control.

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