Home Health and Fitness Higher anxiety is associated with worse cognitive functioning and dementia in older adults, study finds

Higher anxiety is associated with worse cognitive functioning and dementia in older adults, study finds

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A large study in the Netherlands found that older adults with cognitive decline were more likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. This association was stronger in the younger study participant and her type 2 diabetes. This research Affective Disorder Journal.

Anxiety disorders are a type of mental health condition in which we tend to react to certain things with fear and fear in a way that is clearly overreacting. Or something that evokes no emotional response in people without this disorder can provoke a strong fear response in someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder.

It is normal to have some degree of anxiety, especially when faced with important issues or decisions, or when you are in objective danger, but anxiety disorders go far beyond this. It severely impairs your ability to act and control your reactions in anxiety-provoking situations.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and separation anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder is a state of constant overwhelm and excessive worrying about everyday things. In panic disorder, people often experience panic attacks. It is a sudden, intense feeling of fear that causes adverse physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, accelerated breathing, sweating, a feeling of choking, a heart attack or “going crazy”.

A phobia is an intense fear of a particular situation or object. In many cases, the level of terror from these objects is completely disproportionate to the level of danger posed by such objects and situations. This type of fear can be experienced even for completely harmless objects and situations.

Anxiety disorders affect approximately 15% of the population during their lifetime. Studies have shown that higher levels of anxiety are associated with lower cognitive function in older adults. However, it is not clear which aspects of cognitive function are associated with which types of anxiety disorders.

Study author Bernice JA Gulpers and her colleagues wanted to study the details of the link between cognitive decline and anxiety disorders in the elderly population.They analyzed data from maastricht studiesis a large observational study of adults aged 40 to 75 years living in the southern Netherlands. A new study analyzed data from his 7,689 participants collected between 2010 and 2017.

Participants assessed generalized anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), panic disorder without agoraphobia, and agoraphobia without panic disorder. Has completed. Participants also completed a battery of cognitive tests to assess cognitive function and assessments of executive function.

They found that participants diagnosed with panic disorder or agoraphobia were more likely to be younger, less educated, and female. They more frequently suffered from type 2 diabetes and depression.

A diagnosis of agoraphobia was associated with worsening cognitive function (in all domains) and a higher likelihood of cognitive impairment. Younger participants with agoraphobia were more likely to have cognitive deficits than older participants with this diagnosis. Adults with agoraphobia and her type 2 diabetes had lower average cognitive processing speeds and a higher likelihood of cognitive impairment than adults without type 2 diabetes but with agoraphobia.

Participants with more pronounced symptoms of generalized anxiety were more likely to have cognitive deficits and, on average, had slower cognitive processing speed. but was not relevant in older participants. Cognitive impairment was more likely in participants with more prominent symptoms who had type 2 diabetes than in those without.

Participants with panic disorder tended to have poorer memory. Younger participants with panic disorder were more likely to have cognitive impairment, but this was not the case for older participants.

“There is little support for the specific role of executive dysfunction in anxiety disorders. If you want a high score in GAD7 [general anxiety symptoms]the association with executive function was no longer significant after adjustment for depressive disorders, but remained significant for cognitive impairment,” the researchers concluded.

“Panic disorder was associated with memory, not executive function. There were no significant associations between lifetime panic disorder and odds of cognitive domains or cognitive impairment. was stronger in AD and GAD-7 [general anxiety] So does the score for people with type 2 diabetes. ”

This study reveals a link between anxiety and cognitive function. However, we note that this study design does not yield causal conclusions. In addition, some aspects of cognitive function such as visual memory and language were not examined.

the study, “Anxiety and cognitive function in the Maastricht study: a cross-sectional population studywas written by Bernice JA Gulperz, France RJ Verhey, Simone JPM Yousen, Miranda T. Schramm, Bastiaan E. de Garan, Martin PJ van Boxtel, Cohen DA Stehauer, and S. Kohler.

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