"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Positive views on aging are good for memory recovery

April 13, 2023 – Older individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) usually tend to regain functioning after they are satisfied with aging than individuals who have negative feelings about it, in response to a brand new study from the Yale School of Public Health.

MCI is a standard type of memory loss. A positive attitude toward aging gives older people a 30% higher likelihood of regaining normal pondering.

“The researchers also found that these positive beliefs enabled participants to regain their cognitive abilities up to two years earlier than those with negative age beliefs,” News from Neuroscience reported. “This cognitive recovery benefit was observed regardless of the severity of mild cognitive impairment.”

More than 1,700 people over 65 years of age took part within the study, which was published in JAMA network opened.

“In previous experimental studies with older people, positive age beliefs reduced stress caused by cognitive challenges, increased confidence in cognitive abilities, and improved cognitive performance,” the study authors wrote. “We therefore hypothesized that older people with positive age beliefs would be more likely to recover from MCI and would do so more quickly than those with negative age beliefs.”

Becca Levy, professor of public health and psychology and lead writer of the study, told Neuroscience News: “Most people assume there is no cure for MCI, but in fact half of those affected recover. Little is known about why some recover and others do not, so we looked at positive aging beliefs to see if they could help find an answer.”

“Older people in the group with positive age beliefs who began the study with normal cognitive abilities were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment over the next 12 years than people in the group with negative age beliefs, regardless of their baseline age and physical health,” Neuroscience News reported.

“Given that positive aging beliefs can be strengthened, our findings suggest that interventions to address age-related beliefs at the individual and societal levels could increase the number of people experiencing cognitive recovery,” the study said.