Can stress cause dementia?

If this latest dementia study from Sweden is true, I’m in big trouble.

Maybe we all need to have a good scream or shout.

Maybe we all need to have a good scream or shout.

The study kept track of 800 women from their late 30’s through their senior years. Stressful events that occurred to the subjects were recorded over those years. Between 1968 and 2006, almost 20 percent of the women developed dementia. An association between the number of stressors reported by the subjects and an increased risk of dementia (15 percent) and Alzheimer’s (21 percent) was reported. While further studies will need to be conducted to establish a link, it is believed the damage that stress can inflict upon the body, including inflammation of the brain, may be the culprit.

The Huffington Post article also points out that stress hormones can remain elevated long after a traumatic event.

Considering my last couple of years, this is an alarming finding. Dare I say it is … stressing me out? 🙂

But on a serious note, those of us who are family caregivers cannot deny the physical and mental consequences of stress. I have no easy answers on how to relieve stress. I’ve tried many of the recommended methods and failed. If you have a stress-relieving activity that you enjoy, try to work that into your normal routine. Letting off steam and returning to a calm state should be considered as necessary as breathing and any other vital body function.

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