Friday, December 14, 2012 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Studies have linked factors such as living alone or a lack of social connections to an increased risk of dementia. But according to a study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, it is actually feelings of loneliness, rather than any of these objective external factors, that are associated with greater risk.
“These results suggest that feelings of loneliness independently contribute to the risk of dementia in later life,” the researchers wrote.
Well-established risk factors for dementia include advanced age, depression, impaired cognition, and certain genetic profiles and underlying medical conditions, the researchers noted. But few studies have been conducted to carefully examine the effects of social isolation. Yet with both the aging population and the number of people living alone increasing they said, understanding the relationship between dementia and isolation may be of great importance.