Dementia: The risk of being lonely

Dementia: The risk of being capable of constituting, as researchers have found in a new study, a risk factor that makes us more vulnerable to dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. Conclusions drawn from a study in which more than two thousand people participated. And a note, feeling alone is not the same as living alone.


A risk factor over which have focused the researchers to uncover what is hidden and what makes us more vulnerable to dementia as we get older. That yes, we must make a small but important nuance, since it is not same feel just than living alone. The feeling of loneliness also influenced by many other factors, such as the lead a little active life and tends to some social isolation.

Feeling alone makes us more vulnerable to dementia a pathology that goes beyond mere forgetfulness and stalking us as we get older. Researchers, in this case in a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, have delved into the emotional impacts, as the trend to social isolation and loneliness. That is what makes us more vulnerable to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and found that feeling alone – which is not the same as living alone – which is not the same that live alone – predisposes us most, that in addition to the age, health, genes and cognitive impairment, must take into account another factor of risk, loneliness.

A feeling or state, feeling lonely, increasingly frequent, as the researchers point out, if we consider the aging population and the increasing number of single households. To achieve these results, researchers have had the participation of over two thousand people with signs or symptoms of dementia. In all cases, monitor their health was conducted and how influenced them live independently. The monitoring was conducted over a period of three years and, in this case, all participants are in turn part of the study of elderly that is taking place in Amsterdam, which focuses on the analysis of the risk factors that predispose us to depression and dementia from a certain age.

At the end of the follow-up period, researchers completed the evaluation with a series of tests, at the time that assessed their health and physical ability to perform the daily tasks and asked if they had the feeling of being alone. Note that at the beginning of the research, more than half of the participants lived alone (around 46%), resulting in one in five (around 20%) recognized lonely. After three years, one in three of those who lived alone had developed dementia (around 9%) compared with those who were living with someone who was reduced to just over 5% (i.e., one in twenty). A fact that allow to draw the first conclusion to the researchers about the influence of the emotional state of feeling only in the development of dementia.

Among participants who were not married, rates of prevalence of dementia were very similar to those that they were or had been. Yes recognizing differences were found feel alone because after three years developing dementia almost doubled compared to those who did not believe they did not feel alone.

These results have allowed researchers to observe and alert while on how loneliness can affect both memory and cognitive function.