Loneliness And Dementia Are Linked, Says Study

Mental Health News

Researchers at the University of Warwick, University of Cambridge, and Fudan University showed how social isolation increases the risk of dementia. The study is published in the journal Neurology.

The Study

The researchers used neuroimaging data from more than 30,000 participants in the UK Biobank data set. They used modeling techniques to explore the link between dementia, social isolation, and loneliness. They also took into consideration various socio-economic factors like chronic illness, lifestyle, depression, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that the risk factor for dementia increases by 26% in socially isolated individuals.

Towards Interventions

The researchers are enthusiastic that the findings can help formulate social relationship interventions and care, especially for the elderly population in the Covid-19 era. Likewise, governments and communities can develop non-medical interventions that facilitate communication and social interaction and reduce the risk of dementia and social isolation.

One of the lead researchers, Jianfeng Feng, explained: “We highlight the importance of an environmental method of reducing risk of dementia in older adults through ensuring that they are not socially isolated. During any future pandemic lockdowns, it is important that individuals, especially older adults, do not experience social isolation.”

To Know More You May Refer To

Shen, C., Rolls, E., Cheng, W., Kang, J., Dong, G., Xie, C., Zhao, X. M., Sahakian, B., & Feng, J. (2022). Associations of Social Isolation and Loneliness With Later Dementia. Neurology, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200583. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000200583

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