How well you age might depend on how you feel about aging

How do you feel about getting old? It turns out this is not just a trivial quiz question. New studies find that those who believe negative stereotypes about the elderly are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life. So, it seems that how you feel about aging has an effect on how you actually age. The studies, commissioned by the Yale School of Public Health, looked at data from 158 healthy people who in their 40s had to rate on a scale statements like “older people are absent-minded” or “older people have trouble learning new things.” About 25 years later, people who held more negative thoughts about aging earlier in life had greater loss of hippocampus volume when they aged. Loss of volume in that brain region is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, it’s time to change our opinion about getting old.

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How well you age might depend on how you feel about aging

How do you feel about getting old? It turns out this is not just a trivial quiz question. New studies find that those who believe negative stereotypes about the elderly are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life. So, it seems that how you feel about aging has an effect on how you actually age. The studies, commissioned by the Yale School of Public Health, looked at data from 158 healthy people who in their 40s had to rate on a scale statements like “older people are absent-minded” or “older people have trouble learning new things.” About 25 years later, people who held more negative thoughts about aging earlier in life had greater loss of hippocampus volume when they aged. Loss of volume in that brain region is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, it’s time to change our opinion about getting old.

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