The study suggests that managing negative emotions in old age could protect the brain from harm, potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
In a study published in Nature Aging, researchers found that managing negative emotions could protect the brain from harm in old age. The study found that older people’s brains are more likely to show emotional inertia, which means the degree to which one’s emotional state is resistant to change. The duration of changes in brain connectivity between different regions caused by negative emotions was found to persist longer in older people. An inability to regulate emotions may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, but the effects of prolonged emotional inertia on the risk of dementia are still being analyzed. The study suggests that meditation and other related behavioral methods could be used in a preventative way, especially for anxious people.