Tags: cognition | mci | mild cognitive impairment | positive | age | beliefs | regain

Optimism About Aging Can Reverse Cognitive Decline

older man and woman smiling in an exercise class
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By    |   Friday, 14 April 2023 09:37 AM EDT

Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health found that a positive attitude about aging and growing old may help older adults regain certain cognitive skills.

According to Study Finds, older individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who had an optimistic outlook about growing older were 30% more likely to regain normal cognition than their counterparts with a more pessimistic view of aging. Moreover, the Yale study found that adults with a positive attitude were able to recover their cognition two years earlier than others with negative beliefs regardless of baseline MCI severity.

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“Most people assume there is no recovery from MCI, but in fact half of those who have it do recover. Little is known about why some recover while others don’t. That’s why we looked at positive age beliefs, to see it they would help provide an answer,” said Becca Levy, professor of public health and psychology at Yale, who was the lead author of the study,

In a news release Levy explained that in her previous studies she found that positive beliefs and attitudes about aging helped reduce the stress caused by cognitive challenges, increased self-confidence about cognition and improved cognitive performance.

In her most recent research, she says that a culture-based factor — positive age beliefs — contributes to MCI recovery. Her findings appeared in JAMA Network Open.

Older people in the positive age-belief group who started the study with normal cognition were less likely to develop MCI over the next 12 years than those in the negative age-belief group, regardless of their baseline age and physical health.

The National Institute on Aging funded the study that included 1,726 participants aged 65 and older who were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study, a national longitudinal study.

“Our previous research has demonstrated that age beliefs can be modified; therefore, age-belief interventions at the individual and social levels could increase the number of people who experience cognitive recovery,” Levy said.

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Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health found that a positive attitude about aging and growing old may help older adults regain certain cognitive skills. According to Study Finds, older individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who had an optimistic outlook...
cognition, mci, mild cognitive impairment, positive, age, beliefs, regain
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2023-37-14
Friday, 14 April 2023 09:37 AM
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