Recent studies have shown that loneliness can be a factor to the development of Alzheimer disease. For years now, scientists have struggled to determine the factors which contribute to the evolution of Alzheimer. So far, they have revealed that depression and loneliness represent significant factors which should not be left aside. The new research was conducted by a group of scientists from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School.
They teamed up to uncover the causes which lead to Alzheimer disease. The study was bound to gather and analyze data coming from 79 people who were mentally healthy when the study has started. After the researchers have examined the levels of cortical amyloids, they have developed a loneliness scale. As previously argued, loneliness can be a factor which could influence the settling of the disease; experts needed to measure its contribution.
It is very well known that Alzheimer became to be the most ordinary type of dementia, affecting approximately 70% of the registered cases. This illness is a neurodegenerative one whose side effects worsen proportionally with the passing of time. Although the first symptoms of the disease only trigger a slight degeneration of the ability to recall previous events, this could easily escalate into more advanced stages in no time.
Among other side effects, researchers have also revealed a decrease in motivation and experiencing several memory and language impairments which also triggered behavioral problems. These kinds of effects are bound to lead to a debilitation of the patient who can no longer take care of himself/herself. Unfortunately, these symptoms can eventually lead to the death of the patient.
Besides implementing the idea that loneliness can be a factor to this disease’s development, researchers have also unveiled other factors such as the lack of memory and mental exercises, terrible head injuries and deficient nutrition. The people who were part of the study were 46 women and 36 men. Approximately 28% of them demonstrated the existence of genetic risk elements. Almost 32% of the subjects had a positive result when tested for amyloid during pre-study period.
Scientists have explained that cortical amyloid is responsible for triggering the development of amyloid brain plaques. These represent a critical sign of the evolution of preclinical Alzheimer Disease. Nevertheless, scientists have also established a connection between the levels of loneliness and depression with the levels of amyloids which seemed to proportionally grow together.
Image courtesy of: pixabay