Anxious People Have Higher Risks of Developing Dementia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Dementia is classified as a mental disorder that affects how the mind processes the environment. It is usually caused by brain damage. However, it has recently been revealed in a study that anxious people have more chances of developing disorders rather those who don't worry much.

Anxious People Have Higher Risks of Developing Dementia

In a recent study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Southern California revealed that people who worry about a lot of things have an approximately 48 percent higher chances of acquiring dementia.

According to Dr. Andrew Petkus, leader of the research team, anxiety in older adults have always been something that is understudied compared to depression. He also explained that unlike depression, anxiety is a chronic disorder and that's basically the reason that there are people who classify anxiety as a part of someone's personality rather than a disorder.

The study, which is conducted on over a thousand twins over the past 28 years, revealed that the twin with higher anxiety rate is most likely to develop the mental disorder. The experiment required the test subjects to do in person the tests every 3 years. They would answer a set of questionnaires and rate themselves based on the level of anxiety they have experienced over the last 36 months. That's not all, they were also continuously screened for dementia.

After the study is done, the team of researchers evaluated the participants' answers. It is later revealed that the twin who developed dementia have always been the one who reported a higher level of anxiety.

According to Margaret Gatz, a professor of psychology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, those people who took part in the study and developed dementia showed more than usual symptoms of anxiety. She also described them as people who are almost always frantic and frazzled.

To determine whether anxiety is really related to dementia, the team of researchers compared the group of people with high anxiety level and those who have reported a lower level of anxiety. That's where they found out that the group of anxious people can develop dementia at least more than 1.5 times than those who worried less.

Dr. Petkus then explained the possible connection between anxiety and dementia. He stated that whenever a person is stressed, the body will release a hormone called cortisol. And it has already been revealed in previous studies that high level of cortisol can affect the brain.

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