Chronic Stress Among The Elderly Increases Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease
Impairments of cognitive functions are often associated with old age. However, undesirable levels of stress in seniors' twilight years could deteriorate their already fragile mental health into serious forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's.
According to PR News Wire, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System in New York reported that elderly people who were constantly exposed to severe amount of stress were more than twice as likely to experience Alzheimer's disease in later life.
The results of the study confirmed what has long been suspected. The research was originally started in 1993 as an initiative called Einstein Aging Study (EAS) which looked into the data of 507 people who were part of the study with subsequent assessments that followed annually as stated in an article published by Philly Voice.
Surprisingly, the study also pointed out that less educated women were the most susceptible to depression as opposed to other groups of research participants according to Express.
However, experts consolingly remarked that stress is mainly perception-driven which makes it a manageable risk factor.
"Fortunately, perceived stress is a modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment, making it a potential target for treatment," told Mr. Richard Lipton of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System as quoted directly by NDTV.
Furthermore, there are ways by which individuals could counter the deteriorating effects of Alzheimer's by focusing on activities that diffuse stress.
"Perceived stress can be altered by mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive-behavioral therapies and stress-reducing drugs," said Mindy Katz, a senior associate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as quoted saying in the same foregoing Express article.