Purpose and Alzheimer’s Disease

Science is helping us to live longer than ever before. But unfortunately, a longer life now usually leads to cognitive dementia. Baby boomers have now become the seniors of this generation. Many are developing cognitive dementia like never before. This has given medical research added impetus to study brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease in older people. This article will discuss how having a purpose in life could positively impact people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive dementia, which is the precursor to Alzheimer’s.

Because Alzheimer’s disease affects a significant part of the senior population, more and more research is being done in order to better understand the disease and hopefully find some way to cure or even reverse it. The good news is that researchers are getting closer to identifying the risk factors and causes of Alzheimer’s and find ways of preventing the disease.

Researchers have observed how the senses of purpose, well-being, and happiness, and other positive aspects of life would affect cognitive dementia. They wanted to know specifically if these factors can help lower the risk.

A total of 951 people not suffering from dementia participated in this study which was known as the Rush Memory and Aging Project. The subjects were asked questions about their happiness, well-being, and sense of purpose. After four years, the researchers followed up the study. It was shown that:

  • Folks who led purposeful lives had a low chance of suffering mild cognitive impairment. Also they experienced a slower rate of decline.

  • The subjects who more positive about their lives were less likely to develop cognitive dementia.

There is debate as to why there seems to be a cause and effect to having purpose and a reduced risk of cognitive impairment. More studies are required and a biological basis needs to be identified as well.

There is a connection between depression and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have been consistent about this finding. A few researchers theorize that a purpose in life and depression are also linked with each other. People who scored low in purpose in life tests tend to also have a higher score in depression.

The following questions were raised in the study. They included questions like these:

  • Can an early symptom of clinical cognitive dementia include a low purpose in life?

  • If people have a lower sense of purpose could it lead to cognitive dementia?

A growing number of studies such as the one above manifest a connection link between behavior and disease. Listed below are some of the factors that seem to be associated with reduced disabilities, lower mortality, and a longer life:

A lot of these are controllable life style factors.

The above mentioned studies have led to more questions than answers. But they have steered in the right direction. They allow us to have a better understanding about our bodies and our minds. This understanding leads to greater freedom, independence, and control as we get old.

Now more than ever before, we have a better view on how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cognitive dementia can be delayed or even reversed by getting your mind tuned up. Staying in shape mentally and keeping your mind sharp can establish reserves for when you need them. Developing your mind may help avoid the nightmare that is Alzheimer’s disease.

Will you become one of those tens of millions living with cognitive dementia? Act NOW to save your memories.