General, Research, Technology

Recurring Negative Thoughts Associated with Alzheimer's

Despite the fact that in everyday life we ​​rarelytalking about Alzheimer's, at least 10 million people experience it every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia (in 60-70% of all cases) in the world. Dementia is a syndrome in which there is a degradation of memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform daily, even the most simple actions. It is important to understand that dementia affects mainly the elderly, but is not a normal part of aging. Recently, researchers from University College London published a study according to which negative thinking is directly related to Alzheimer's disease.

A healthy brain scan (left) and a human brain scan with Alzheimer's disease (right)

What is Alzheimer's?

If in Western countries Alzheimer's disease is doctorsdiagnosed quite quickly - and early detection of this degenerative disease helps to significantly extend the normal life of patients - then in our country the situation is somewhat more complicated. Many people do not see a doctor when the first symptoms of dementia appear, considering memory problems to be natural companions of the body's aging. Unfortunately, even in the case of timely treatment for help, you may not receive it, since not all doctors are aware of the complex symptoms of this dangerous disease.

According to the information on the WHO website,Dementia is “one of the leading causes of disability and dependence among older people worldwide. It has a profound effect not only on people suffering from it, but also on their families and those who care for the sick. Lack of awareness of dementia and a lack of understanding of this condition often leads to stigma and barriers to diagnosis and care. The impact of dementia on caregivers, the family and society as a whole can be physical, psychological, social and economic. ”

Do you think doctors are well aware of Alzheimer's? We will wait for the answer here!

Dementia often goes unnoticed, causing its rapid progression.

Since dementia manifests itself in different peoplein different ways, this greatly complicates its diagnosis. However, about 70% of all cases of dementia are due to Alzheimer's disease, making it the most common cause of cognitive loss. The remaining 30% are in other forms of dementia. It should be noted that there are no clear boundaries between the different forms of dementia. For this reason, mixed forms of dementia often coexist.

    Specialists distinguish the three most common stages of the disease:

  • Early stage dementia often goes unnoticed, but there are common symptoms, such as forgetfulness, loss of count of time, disorientation in a familiar area.
  • Middle stage dementia is characterized by more pronounced symptomsand symptoms such as disorientation at home, forgetfulness about recent events and people's names, increasing communication difficulties, behavioral difficulties, and the need for help to care for themselves.
  • Late stage dementia is characterized by almost completedependence on others and passivity. Memory impairments become significant, and the physical signs and symptoms of dementia are more apparent. It is believed that in the late stage of dementia there is a loss of orientation in time and space, difficulties in recognizing relatives and friends, an increasing need for help to take care of oneself, difficulties in movement, and also behavioral changes, including aggressiveness.

Depression, Anxiety, and Dementia

But what causes Alzheimer's disease and how to deal with it? I note that today there is no therapy for the treatment of dementia or changes in its development. Scientists from around the world spend a huge amountstudies to better understand the course of the disease and discover new methods that can prevent its development. So, the results of a new study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia showed that repeated negative thinking is associated with cognitive and neuropathological markers of Alzheimer's disease.

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According to forecasts, the total number of people with dementia will be about 82 million in 2030 and 152 by 2050.

In other words, repetitive alarming(obsessive) thoughts are associated with a subsequent decrease in cognitive abilities. Since negative thinking is a common symptom of depression and anxiety disorder, a new discovery can help explain the relationship between these disorders and the increased risk of dementia. The authors of the new work believe that certain models of thinking associated with depression and anxiety may be the main reason for the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Moreover, the researchers found an increase in harmful proteins in the brain in patients with dementia, which leads to a decrease in mental abilities. The results showed that in people more oftengloomy thoughts (anxiety about the future and memories of the past) visited over the next 4 years there was a greater amount of tau protein and amyloid beta compared with more optimistic people.

You will be interested: Scientists have found a region of the brain in which Alzheimer's disease originates

One explanation for the connection between negativeResearchers call stress and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Obsessive negative thoughts are known to be a behavioral marker of chronic stress (e.g., high blood pressure, cortisol). The study involved patients with cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia. However, the results obtained during the study cannot be generalized to the entire population, the authors write.