Loneliness could favor the development of Alzheimer's
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Too many old people are left alone in the sunset of their lives and they hardly receive visits from their relatives. This causes in the elderly a sense of loneliness that could be one of the factors that explain the development of Alzheimer in the elderly. This has been determined by a study by the Center for Research and Treatment of Alzheimer's at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, which has found a link between this disease and a protein associated with this disease that is very present in people who feel forgotten. .
Amyloid and Alzheimer
The researchers tried to find out how loneliness favors the appearance of amyloid, a protein associated with the disease. Alzheimer. As indicated by those responsible for this study, patients who have high levels of this component have a 7.5% more possibilities to develop this disease in the future. At this point the team wanted to discover to what extent staying socially active helps prevent the onset of dementia.
To determine the relationship between loneliness to a advanced age and the increased risk of Alzheimer's, the researchers analyzed 43 women and 36 men with a mean age of 76 years. All these patients were healthy and without any symptoms of Alzheimer's or other dementia.
The researchers resorted to psychological tests usual to measure the degree of loneliness felt by each person. Imaging scans were also used to detect the amount of amyloid in the brains of these people. The purpose was to analyze the levels of this protein in the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain that has an essential role in memory, attention, perception and thinking, and compare it with the level of company enjoyed by these people.
Greater loneliness, more amyloid
The results of this investigation showed that those people who claimed feel lonely They had high levels of this protein. Or what is the same, patients who presented amyloid in their cerebral cortex were 7.5% more likely to feel alone than the rest.
However, the researchers warn that this work only has to be taken as the invitation to carry out new studies in order to deepen in the relationship between the development of Alzheimer's and the level of loneliness that patients have of this type of dementia.