A new study found that repetitive negative thinking in later life was linked to cognitive decline and greater deposits of two harmful proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study at University College London.
Negative thinking behaviors such as rumination about the past and worry about the future were measured in over 350 people over the age of 55 over a two-year period. About a third of the participants also underwent a PET brain scan to measure deposits of tau and beta amyloid, two proteins which cause Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.
The scans showed that people who spent more time thinking negatively had more tau and beta amyloid buildup, worse memory and greater cognitive decline over a four-year period compared to people who were not pessimists.
The study also tested for levels of depression and anxiety and found greater cognitive decline in depressed and anxious people, which echos prior research.
Previous research supports their hypothesis. People who look at life from a positive perspective have a much better shot at avoiding death from any type of cardiovascular risk than pessimistic people.l. In fact, the more positive the person, the greater the protection from heart attacks, stroke and any cause of death.
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