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Links Between Stress and Dementia, Altzheimer’s Investigated

Posted on the 26 June 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Stress link to dementia investigated Under pressure: Can stress trigger dementia?

The background

Researchers are investigating whether stress is a trigger for dementia. Funded by The Alzheimer’s Society, the study will monitor the stress levels of 140 over-fifties with mild cognitive impairment.

“All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s,” said Professor Clive Holmes of Southampton University, who is leading the research. “Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.”

Stress link already suggested

This is not the first time a link between dementia and stress has come under scrutiny. “A Swedish study that followed nearly 1,500 women for a period of 35 years found the risk of dementia was about 65% higher in women who reported repeated periods of stress in middle age than in those who did not,” reported the BBC.

Stress also linked to cancer, heart disease

“Chronic stress is known to increase the risk of a number of illnesses – including heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes,” pointed out NetDoctor. And a recent study found that psychological distress is associated with an increased risk of death from a stroke, reported The Huffington Post.

Time to de-stress

The NHS website suggested a range of stress-reducing tips. These included exercise, taking “me-time” and undertaking volunteer work. Stress-heads should stay away from the booze and fags: “The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.”

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