Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) in those aged over 55 is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and deposition of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. People who exhibited higher levels of RNT experienced more cognitive and memory problems over four years. They were more likely to have both amyloid-beta and tau protein deposits throughout the brain.
The researchers hope to find out if reducing RNT, possibly through mindfulness training or targeted talk therapy, could in turn reduce the risk of dementia. Dr Marchant and Dr Chételat and other European researchers are currently working on a large project to see if interventions such as meditation may help reduce dementia risk by supporting mental health in old age.