Spouse's optimism protects against Alzheimer's and age-related memory loss

Scientists from Harvard University have found: people who are in a relationship with an optimistic partner have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Experts analyzed data from 4,457 heterosexual couples, with the average age of participants 66.7 years.

It turned out that both the physical and mental health of the partner depends on the nature of the life partner. The researchers noted: optimists are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle, move more, eat right and, most importantly, their example is contagious for the partner. So, it is established that if one of the partners quits smoking, the second is very likely to follow his example within a few months. All these factors, as well as a positive atmosphere at home, are important for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. 

The study also found that good relationships between spouses inhibit age-related memory impairment. When spouses share memories, each of them contributes to the description of a particular picture of the past, adding details that the other partner missed. It is important that optimistic people tend to talk about the best events in life. Such conversations not only help to maintain a positive attitude but also are great training for memory.

Feb. 12, 2020, 10:18 a.m.

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