Positive age beliefs protect against dementia even among elders with high-risk gene

TitlePositive age beliefs protect against dementia even among elders with high-risk gene
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLevy, BR, Slade, MD, Pietrzak, RH, Ferrucci, L
Secondary AuthorsGinsberg, SD
KeywordsAPoE4, Dementia, Optimism, Positive beliefs, Risk Factors
AbstractOne of the strongest risk factors for dementia is the ε4 variant of the APOE gene. Yet, many who carry it never develop dementia. The current study examined for the first time whether positive age beliefs that are acquired from the culture may reduce the risk of developing dementia among older individuals, including those who are APOE ε4 carriers. The cohort consisted of 4,765 Health and Retirement Study participants who were aged 60 or older and dementia-free at baseline. As predicted, in the total sample those with positive age beliefs at baseline were significantly less likely to develop dementia, after adjusting for relevant covariates. Among those with APOE ε4, those with positive age beliefs were 49.8% less likely to develop dementia than those with negative age beliefs. The results of this study suggest that positive age beliefs, which are modifiable and have been found to reduce stress, can act as a protective factor, even for older individuals at high risk of dementia. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.
Short TitlePLoS ONE
Citation Key9497