Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Living with a partner reduces risk of Alzheimer’s

31.07.2008
Living with a spouse or a partner decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.

This according to a study by Krister Håkansson, researcher in psychology at Växjö University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The results were presented for the first time yesterday at the world’s largest dementia conference.

“This is, for me, an overwhelming start,” says Mr Håkansson. “It’s the first study I’ve done in this field, and the results are astounding. They indicate a very strong correlation between this type of social factor and the risk of developing dementia.”

The new findings are based on data from a Finnish study, which was unique in that 2,000 people were examined at the age of around 50 and again twenty-one years later. Normally, dementia researchers only study late-life individuals. Previous research has shown that an active lifestyle, both intellectually and socially, can decrease the risk of developing dementia; since a shared life often entails considerable social and intellectual stimulation, the point of inquiry of this present study was whether living with a spouse or a partner can help to ward off dementia.

The results show that people living with a spouse or a partner in midlife ran a 50 per cent lower risk of developing dementia than people living alone, even when controlled for other risk factors, such as age.

How long a person had been single and for what reasons also affected the chances of developing dementia. Those who had lived alone their entire adult life ran twice the risk, while those who were divorced in midlife and remained subsequently single ran three times the risk.

Widows and widowers ran the greatest risk
Those at greatest risk of developing dementia diseases were people who had lost their partner before middle age and then continued to live as a widow or widower. The study showed that the chances of developing Alzheimer’s for these individuals were six times greater than for married couples.

“This suggests two influencing factors – social and intellectual stimulation and trauma,” says Mr Håkansson. “In practice, it shows how important it is to put resources into helping people who have undergone a crisis. If our interpretation will hold, such an intervention strategy could also be profitable for society considering the costs for dementia care."

The new results were presented at the 2008 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD 2008), the world’s largest in the field, which is currently being help in Chicago. For more news, visit the conference press room at http://www.alz.org/icad/press_room.asp

Krister Håkansson can already see several interesting lines of inquiry leading from this study. “Does it matter, for instance, if the relationship is a happy one or not? And does it matter if someone has always intended to live a single life or not?”

Sabina Bossi | alfa
Further information:
http://ki.se
http://ki.se/pressbilder

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>