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Mind & Mood

Worries on your mind

Updated: October 01, 2020

People who regularly worried about the future and dwelled on the past saw larger drops in cognition and had more harmful brain proteins than those who didn't.

d95c8f31-a4dd-4e72-9faa-51d0809580ceChronic worrying or ruminating could be bad for your brain. A study published online June 7, 2020, by Alzheimer's & Dementia linked these negative thinking patterns to brain changes that could be associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Study authors found that older adults who regularly engaged in what the authors called repetitive negative thinking were more likely to experience cognitive decline, including memory problems, than those who didn't. They also had higher levels of the proteins beta-amyloid and tau in their brains. The accumulation of these proteins, which create damaging clumps known as plaques and tangles in the brain, is a hallmark of Alzheimer's that begins in the earliest stages of the disease — even before an individual experiences visible symptoms of dementia.

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