Studies Show That Those Who Think About Aging As Good Can Regain Memory
Feeling happy about the aging process has been found to have a significant impact on memory loss, specifically a common type known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This was according to a groundbreaking study that was conducted by some researchers from Yale University.
The research they made revealed that older individuals with MCI were 30 percent more likely to regain normal cognitive function if they maintained a positive attitude towards aging. They compared the findings they made to those who had negative perceptions about getting older.
Remarkably, the study also discovered that adopting a cheerful outlook on the “silver years” allowed participants to recover their cognitive abilities up to two years earlier than their counterparts with a pessimistic mindset. This finding underscores the profound influence of a positive approach to aging on the mental well-being of a person, especially as they grow older.
The Yale School of Public Health study stands out as the first of its kind to establish a link between a cultural factor, namely a positive attitude towards aging, and the recovery from MCI. The extensive research involved a total of 1,716 participants who were aged 65 and above, making it a robust and comprehensive investigation into the subject.
The study found that individuals who commenced the research with normal cognitive function and maintained a happy attitude towards aging were less likely to develop MCI over the subsequent 12 years compared to those who held negative beliefs, regardless of their physical health or the age at which they joined the cohort. These findings shed light on the potential of positive age beliefs in preventing cognitive decline and protecting against MCI.
Professor Becca Levy, the lead author of the study, highlighted the significant implications of the research, stating, “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 if they would help provide an answer.” Professor Levy further emphasized the potential of age-belief interventions at both the individual and societal levels to increase the number of people who experience cognitive recovery.
This study builds upon Professor Levy’s previous research, which revealed that older individuals who held positive beliefs about their age exhibited improved cognitive performance. The current investigation, published in JAMA Network Open, was made possible through funding from the National Institute on Aging, underscoring the significance of the research findings within the scientific community.
In conclusion, the groundbreaking study conducted by Yale University establishes a clear association between a positive attitude towards aging and the reversal of mild cognitive impairment. This research highlights the potential of cultivating positive age beliefs as a means to enhance cognitive recovery in individuals with MCI. The implications of this study extend beyond the individual level, emphasizing the importance of promoting positive perceptions of aging within society to support cognitive health in older adults.