Friday, August 1, 2008

Overthinking may offer protection from Alzheimers and other dementias

By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY

People who tend to overthink things might be protecting themselves from Alzheimer's, according to research presented Wednesday at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease.

A slew of studies were presented at the meeting in Chicago that looked at how certain lifestyle factors, like rumination, and family history may affect a person's risk for dementia. Among their findings:

HEALTH BLOG: Latest research on dealing with dementia

• Overthinking family and work troubles may be a good thing when it comes to late-life brain health, according to Israeli researchers. More than 9,000 men in midlife were asked to rate their tendency for rumination on a scale from 1 (always forget) to 4 (usually ruminate) when it comes to family and work difficulties. The scientists followed up three decades later performing dementia assessments in 1,892 of the 2,606 men who had survived. Dementia prevalence was up to 40% less in men who said they ruminated about life's matters more often, compared with men who had the lowest ruminating scores
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