A new study suggests that anxiety increases a person's risk of dementia. A decline in memory tends to occur at least 10 years after patients experience moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms, such as restlessness or difficulty concentrating, a study found today.
The study, carried out by the University of Southampton, believe ‘internal stress’ caused by anxiety may accelerate cognitive ageing, leading to dementia.
The researchers wrote, “Talking therapies and mindfulness-based interventions and meditation practices are known to reduce anxiety in midlife [and] could have a risk-reducing effect [on dementia], although this is yet to be thoroughly researched.”
Dementia affects around 850,000, with Alzheimer's disease making up between 60 and 80 per cent of cases.
Another theory behind the anxiety-depression link is the mental-health condition causes inflammation that leads to brain-cell death and prevents the organ from creating new nerve cells.
The researchers further wrote, “Whether reducing anxiety in middle age would result in reduced risk of dementia remains an open question.” They, however, added that doctors should look out for anxiety in potential dementia sufferers....