Be it the professional commitments or deadlines or our personal equations, stress has invaded our lives much more intimately than ever. Experts around the world have time and again emphasized on the negative consequences of stress on brain and overall health. According to a recent study, anxiety could prove to be an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease(AD) in older adults. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important cognitive functions, making it difficult to carry out daily life activities.
The findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that the neuropsychiatric symptoms of a person could in some way represent the early manifestation of Alzheimer's disease.
Several studies in the past have stated that depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms could be linked with AD's progression during its "preclinical" phase. In this phase the brain deposits of fibrillar amyloid and pathological tau accumulate in a patient's brain.This sensitive phase may occur more than a decade before a patient's onset of mild cognitive impairment.
The researchers examined the association of brain amyloid beta and longitudinal measures of depression and depressive symptoms in cognitively normal, older adults. Higher levels of amyloid beta may be associated with increasing symptoms of anxiety in these individuals, noted the study. Thus, hinting towards the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric symptoms could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's.
The scientists said that they picked a specific symptoms like anxiety. When compared to other symptoms of depression such as sadness or loss of interest, anxiety symptoms increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain, noted the researchers.
The scientists also noted that since anxiety is common in older people, rising anxiety symptoms may prove to be most useful as a risk marker in older adults with other genetic, biological or clinical indicators of Alzheimer's risk.
For the study, the data was collected from the Harvard Aging Brain Study, an observational study of older adult volunteers aimed at defining neurobiological and clinical changes in early Alzheimer's disease.
The range of study included participants from 270 community dwelling, cognitively normal men and women, between 62 and 90 years old, with no active psychiatric disorders.
Participants were also made to undergo baseline imaging scans commonly used in studies of Alzheimer's disease, and annual assessments with the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), an assessment used to detect depression in older adults.
The total GDS scores as well as scores for three clusters symptoms of depression: apathy-anhedonia, dysphoria, and anxiety were then calculated and analysed in detail at over a span of five years.
The team concluded that higher brain amyloid beta burden was associated with increasing anxiety symptoms over time in cognitively normal older adults.
Stress and anxiety has got a lot to do with your lifestyle and diet. And most of it could be reversed by just eating well, getting a good sleep and indulging in some form of exercise daily.
Here are some foods and herbs that you can eat to beat stress naturally.
Packed with vitamin B which is known to reduce fatigue and tiredness, lentils can work wonders to rev up your energy levels, while combating pre-existing stress and anxiety.
Bananas are rich in vitamin C which is an effective stress fighting nutrient. Bananas also help repair cell damage caused due to stress.
The calcium content of yogurt can help cut down stress effectively. It also has good bacteria that kill anxiety and depression. Have them with your meals or blend it in your smoothies, but don't forget to have yogurt as much as possible
Coconut contains medium chain fats that improve our mental health and cut down negativity. Did you know, that the scent of the coconut is also known to have a psychological effect that helps reduce anxiety and slows out heart rate.
A bowl of oats and some fresh fruits finished off with a drop of honey right in the morning will keep your mood swings in place. Oat meal boosts positive energy as it is considered to be a serotonin enhancer, also known as the happiness hormone.