Dementia and Negativity: Personality Traits Link to Disease

A new study reveals that negative thoughts and cynicism may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia. Learn about the connection between negative attitudes and poor health, and how to improve your outlook for better overall health

Dementia and Negativity: Personality Traits Link to Disease
Dementia and Negativity

A link between dementia and negativity has been known to cause heart disease. A new study out reveals that negative thoughts can actually be a link to developing dementia.

A study published in the online edition of  Neurology and , the journal of the American Academy of Neurology… found that cynical people have a higher likelihood of developing dementia. Cynics are individuals that mistrust others, believing that selfish interests motivate everyone.

Cynicism is believed to be a trait that is a form of chronic anger that builds up over time. The study actually looked at individuals.. That had negative thinking and believed that others had selfish motivations. They felt that people did not do anything that would be in the best interest of a community.

1,500 participants of the study were assessed for dementia and levels of cynicism. The cynicism test asked the participants if they person agreed with these statements:

“Most people will use somewhat unfair reasons to gain profit.. or an advantage rather than lose it”;

“I think most people would lie to get ahead”

“It is safer to trust nobody.”

Those who agreed with the above statements were considered highly cynical individuals. The study reports the individuals that scored in the highest level of distrust. Had a 2.54 times greater risk of developing dementia… than those with the lowest ratings.

Why dementia and negativity may go hand in hand? It is believed that a person with a negative attitude leads to poor health. Negative individuals are usually smokers, have low physical activity and poor nutrition.

Negative people are usually non-complaint with any advice regarding their health. They do not believe what others say.

Individuals with negative attitudes tend to have a stronger stress response. This results in higher levels of cortisol levels, higher heart rate as well as blood pressure.

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The good news is, a negative attitude and a cynical approach to live can be changed. A mindful approach to life can improve your attitude and your health.

The study did not find that dementia was caused by cynicism but instead that there is a link between dementia and personality traits. While more research needs to be done to understand the correlation, it highlights the importance of understanding how negative thoughts can lead to dementia. It’s important for individuals to monitor their thoughts and try to counter any negative thinking with positive ones. Doing so could help reduce their risk of developing dementia in the future.  

Additionally, it may be beneficial for individuals at risk of dementia to engage in activities that promote healthy thinking such as mindfulness, mediation or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Taking steps now could help prevent dementia from developing later on down the line.

Practice Mindful Living To Overcome Negativity

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Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/health/cynical-dementia/index.html

https://neurosciencenews.com/cynicism-dementia-risjk-14407/

Mayo Clinic Staff (2017) ‘Dementia: Coping with Negativity and Irritability’ Accessed November 25th 2020,