Anxiety affects more than 40 million people nationwide. However, if this weren’t bad enough, a new study’s findings suggest that older people experiencing its effects may be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
That’s because, according to researchers, anxiety has a link to beta-amyloid – a protein that has a strong association with Alzheimer’s disease.
This is significant, as beta-amyloid creates “plaques,” which can block communication between cells in the brain.
These “plaques” are one of the most significant symptoms of this disease. And research suggests that an increase in beta-amyloid levels can happen up to 10 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms show up in a person.
According to Medical News Today:
“The research included 270 adults between age 62 and 90, with normal cognitive functioning, all of whom underwent positron emission tomography at study baseline and annually during 5 years of follow-up, in order to determine levels of beta-amyloid in their brains.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression among the adults were assessed using the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale.”
The researchers found that adults showing an increase in anxiety levels over five years of follow-ups also had higher levels of beta-amyloid present in their brains.
According to the researchers, this is an indication that worsening levels of anxiety may have a correlation with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.