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Stranger Than Fiction

Staying positive could prevent dementia

Published:Thursday | February 2, 2023 | 8:40 AMBANG Bizarre

A new study has revealed that negative emotions such as anxiety are thought to promote the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia.

Scientists say that this is because prolonged negative emotions can modify the brain. Older adults are affected excessively and this continues over a long period of time.

Two brain regions, the posterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala, are particularly impacted. The regions are strongly involved in the management of emotions and autobiographical memory, and are also the parts of the brain most affected by dementia.

Study author Sebastian Baez Lugo of the University of Geneva said: "Our hypothesis is that more anxious people would have no or less capacity for emotional distancing.

"The mechanism of emotional inertia, in the context of ageing, would then be explained by the fact that the brain of these people remains 'frozen' in a negative state by relating to the suffering of others to their own emotional memories."

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