High stress in middle age can increase risk of dementia

  • A study has found that stressful midlife events in a woman's life are associated with higher risks of developing dementia in later life.

    Researchers in Sweden have discovered that stressful events that could occur in mid-life, such as divorce, the loss of a child or if a woman suffers serious ill-health in their late 30s, 40s or 50s have a greater chance of developing dementia in later life.Self Portrait 2

    High levels of stress in middle age which may also include widowhood or seeing a close relative battle mental illnesses can raise the risk of a woman getting Alzheimer's disease by 21% and of getting any form of dementia by 15%, according to a study in the medical journal BMJ Open, reports the Guardian.

    The research, which is unusual as it examined the varying types of stress experienced by 800 Swedish middle-aged women in 1968, and then followed them at regular intervals for 38 years until 2005, whilst noting how many displayed symptoms of distress such as fear, sleeping problems and irritability.

    The study says that stress hormones could be to blame as they trigger harmful alterations in the brain. Stress hormones can cause a number of changes in the body and affect things such as blood pressure and blood sugar control, reports the BBC.

    "Our study shows that common psychosocial stressors may have severe and longstanding physiological and psychological consequences", said the co-authors led by Dr Lena Johansson, of the neuropsychiatric epidemiology unit at Gothenburg University. A woman or her partner being unemployed and socially isolated were also among the sources of stress relayed by participants. Of the 800 women, 425 died during the course of the study while 153 (19%) developed dementia, at an average age of 78. "Stress may cause a number of physiological reactions in the central nervous, endocrine, immune and cardiovascular systems", the study concludes.

    Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "From this study it is hard to know whether stress contributes directly to the development of dementia, whether it is purely an indicator of another underlying risk factor in this population of women, or whether the link is due to an entirely different factor."

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/747910

Related articles

  • Read More

    People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide

    The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...

  • Read More

    Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training

    The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...

  • Read More

    People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services

    Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...

  • Read More

    The first mental health centre for men

    The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...

  • Read More

    NHS trust told no mental health beds available

    Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...

  • Read More

    Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected

    Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...

  • Read More

    New mental health centre to open in Ardwick

    Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...

  • Read More

    Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present

    Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...

  • Read More

    Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells

    Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...

  • Read More

    Mental health social work scheme accepting applications

    100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...

Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services

 

Briefing Signup