Thursday, August 22, 2013

Purpose in Life Wards Off the Effects of Alzheimer's Disease

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry Division shows that people who score high on tests measuring one's feeling of having a purpose in life are less likely to get Alzheimer's Disease and are far less likely to exhibit cognitive signs of the disease even when the telltale physical changes associated with Alzheimer's are present. Previous studies have indicated similar things (the famous Nun study, for instance), but specifically studying purpose in life is new and noteworthy.

Add that to studies that show that feeling isolated, lonely and unloved tremendously increases the likelihood of Alzheimer's, and those that show correlations between the disease and depression, and I think we're starting to get a much clearer picture of how Alzheimer's Disease manifests in the elderly population. I imagine this is especially true in Western culture of the current generation!