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"Participants' optimism and their partner's optimism were both positively associated with cognitive functioning. Thus, with further research, optimism (at both the individual and couple level) might emerge as an innovative intervention target that helps adults maintain cognitive functioning as they age," the researchers concluded.
The team also said that the study had identified partner optimism as another psychosocial factor that can contribute to making the most of cognitive functioning across the lifespan. Follow the lead
The findings of the study highlight the importance of having a healthy environment at home and having someone to lead you to a healthier lifestyle. For instance, optimistic people lead by example, and their partners may be influenced to do the same.
There are many benefits of optimism and healthy close relationships for a healthier life. Being able to identify common factors about the aging population can pave the way for strategies to age well and preserve one's cognitive functioning, starving off the risk of Alzheimer's disease, which can be detrimental to one's health.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, characterized by memory loss, confusion, cognitive decline, issues with planning and solving problems, trouble understanding spatial relationships and visual images, to name a few.
Worldwide, there are about 50 million people with dementia. In the United States, an estimated 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, making it the 6th leading cause of death among Americans. Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for Alzheimer's disease, and the gradual decline in cognitive abilities may take a toll on a patient's life, as the quality of life eventually deteriorates. Journal reference:
Oh, J, Chopik, WJ, Kim, ES. The association between actor/partner optimism and cognitive functioning among older couples. Journal of Personality. 2019; 00: 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12529
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