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Jealousy Increases The Risk of Dementia

First Posted: Oct 02, 2014 12:06 AM EDT
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Recent findings published in the journal Neurology show that jealousy may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

A 40-year-old study revealed that women who are anxious or moody throughout their middle age are more likely to develop the neurodegenerative issue later in life.

"Most Alzheimer's research has been devoted to factors such as education, heart and blood risk factors, head trauma, family history and genetics," said lead study author Lena Johannsson, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden, in a news release. "Personality may influence the individual's risk for dementia through its effect on behavior, lifestyle or reactions to stress."

For the study, researchers examined 800 women--all an average of 46 at the beginning of their research. The women were followed for an average of 38 years and asked to complete personality tests that looked at their level of neuroticism and extraversion or introversion, along with various memory tests. Participants were also asked about how often they experienced stress, irritability, fear, tension, nervousness, sleep disturbances, etc., and asked to rank the feelings based on a scale of zero to five.

Findings revealed that those who scored highest on the tests for neuroticism were twice as likely to develop dementia when compared to those who scored lowest on the tests.

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