Loneliness and Social Isolation May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds

Loneliness and Social Isolation May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds
A new research study has found that older, cognitively normal adults with elevated levels of cortical amyloid, the protein linked to Alzheimer's, are much more likely to report feeling lonely and socially isolated regardless of their circumstances. These findings support the potential role of loneliness in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. The study, “Association of Higher Cortical Amyloid Burden With Loneliness in Cognitively Normal Older Adults,” was published online in JAMA Psychiatry "We report a novel association of loneliness and cortical amyloid burden in cognitively normal older adults and present evidence for loneliness as a neuropsychiatric symptom relevant to preclinical Alzheimer's disease," Nancy J. Donovan, MD, lead author and associate psychiatrist at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a press release. The researchers enrolled 79 people who were cognitively normal and lived in a community with a mean age of 76.4. They were all enrolled in the Harvard Aging Brain Study. In total, 22 people (28 percent) tested positive for the genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and 25 people (32 percent) had cortical amyloid burden, as determined by Pittsburgh compound B-positron emission tomography. With answers given in a four-point scale (from 1, never, to 4, often), self-reports of loneliness were evaluated with the three-item UCLA Loneliness Scale, which asks, “How often do you feel you lack
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2 comments

  1. Eduardo Jimenez Jr says:

    So Alzheimer’s actually elevates one’s loneliness even more? I’m in trouble then, I have already been isolating myself so no 9ne sees my Tremors or Shakes and the Asperger’s like outburst…

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