Swedish researchers have found that for every stressful event in middle-aged women’s lives (including being a caretaker for a sick relative, divorce, death of a spouse or other loved one, and even unemployment, etc) her risk of developing Alzheimer’s increased by nearly 20%. This was regardless of how well she appeared to handle each situation.
Although the study involved tracking 800 women aged 38 plus for a period of 40 years, the same consequences most likely hold for men as well, noted Robert S. Wilson, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.
During the study 425 of the women died, and 153 developed dementia. Researchers reviewing their life histories stated that they were able to detect a clear evidence connecting extreme stress and the eventual development of Alzheimer’s. In fact, they found that the emotional pressure endured, the greater the risk for the disease.
“This is the best evidence that stress related hormones may contribute to the build-up of proteins found in the brains of people suffering from dementia,” Wilson exclaimed, and suggested that reducing stress should be made a regular health care routine.”