Stressful life events can age brain

Kim Mueller left administers a test to Alan Sweet where he describes an illustration as part of a University of Wisconsin Madison study on dementia

Findings of new studies that looked at racial disparities in patients with Alzheimer's disease have found evidence suggesting that social conditions such as stress of poverty and racism can increase risk of dementia in African Americans.

"Studying the role of stress is complex".

One of the studies, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, found that a single major stressful event early life is equal to four years of cognitive aging.

Dr Laura Phipps, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "There is compelling research showing married people generally live longer and enjoy better health, with many different factors likely to be contributing to that link".

The theory is that stress increases inflammation, which could increase the chances of developing dementia - and this is now being tested by University of Southampton researchers. Another study looking at dementia risk in states with the highest levels of infant mortality showed that African Americans born in such states were at a 40% higher risk of dementia than African Americans not born in those states and an 80% higher risk than Whites not born in the states.

Person-centred activities combined with just one hour a week of social interaction can improve quality of life and reduce agitation for people with dementia living in care homes, while saving money, according to a recent study.

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It mainly affects people over the age of 65 and, while the likelihood of developing dementia rises sharply with age, about 42,000 of those suffering from the condition are younger than that.

"We presented research that actually tells us that African Americans-even into their 90's-are still one-and-a-half times more at risk than their counterparts and additionally, this may be attributable to living in disadvantaged neighborhoods or increased stressful life experiences", Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer at the Alzheimer's Association (ALZ) tells FOX Business.

But she said the brain was an "incredibly intricate organ" to research.

Wisconsin University's school of medicine and public health led a team of experts in the USA and found that even one major stressful event earlier in life may impact brain health later on.

Manage other health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

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