What do negative emotions have to do with the risk of neurodegenerative disease?

Hearty Team
Jan 29, 2023

Does having an emotionally negative experience impact your brain health? A new study published in the journal, Nature, investigated the link between negative emotions, anxiety and depression, and cognitive decline. 

Study Summary

The study, which included 182 participants, found that: 

  • Neural connections were negatively impacted by negative emotions, especially in the regions of the brain associated with emotion management and autobiographical memory - particularly for older adults. 
  • Researchers concluded that improving the management of negative emotions, such as through meditation, may help prevent neurodegenerative conditions.

The Hearty Take 

Researchers have found that managing the way older adults deal with stress and negative emotions, may reduce the risk for maladaptive emotional reactivity, related to anxiety, depression and more, which otherwise increases the risk for brain aging. There are several scientifically-backed ways to improve emotional regulation, including mediation, exercise, social support, deep breathing, yoga and more – try to implement these in your life to enhance stress resiliency and support brain health!

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