Up until now, researchers have focused on how physical factors increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, however, now, a group of researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London have suggested that psychological factors may also play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. They have reported that repetitive negative thinking (RNT), a common symptom of many psychological disorders, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
RNT, or repetitive negative thinking, over a long period of time can have a harmful effect on the brain. Most people who suffer from depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and life stress experience this, which puts them at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s.
“Treatments that reduce RNT exist, and we believe that they may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Further research is needed to verify this concept however our new proposal offers a promising line of scientific investigation to reduce the heavy societal burden posed by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Robert Howard, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.