About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer''s Disease, Dementia
Advertisement

Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia

Font : A-A+

Highlights:
  • People with happy partners may live a long and healthy life
  • Living with a happy, healthy and optimistic partner can help you ward off mental health problems such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  • Join hands to share more love, follow healthy lifestyle habits and support each other to live a disease-free life

Living with a happy and optimistic partner can boost your overall health and add more years to your life, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Personality.

Science now supports the saying, "happy wife, happy life." Michigan State University research found that those who are optimistic contribute to the health of their partners, staving off the risk factors leading to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as they grow old together.

Advertisement


Are people healthier if their life partners are more optimistic?

"We spend a lot of time with our partners," said William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology and co-author of the study. "They might encourage us to exercise, eat healthier or remind us to take our medicine. When your partner is optimistic and healthy, it can translate to similar outcomes in your own life. You actually do experience a rosier future by living longer and staving off cognitive illnesses."
Advertisement

An optimistic partner may encourage eating a salad or work out together to develop healthier lifestyles. For example, if you quit smoking or start exercising, your partner is close to following suit within a few weeks and months.

"We found that when you look at the risk factors for what predicts things like Alzheimer's disease or dementia, a lot of them are things like living a healthy lifestyle," Chopik said. "Maintaining a healthy weight and physical activity are large predictors. There are some physiological markers as well. It looks like people who are married to optimists tend to score better on all of those metrics."

Details of the Study

The study, published in the Journal of Personality and co-authored by MSU graduate student Jeewon Oh and Eric Kim, a research scientist in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, followed nearly 4,500 heterosexual couples from the Health and Retirement Study for up to eight years.

Findings of the Study

The research team found a potential link between being married to an optimistic person and preventing the onset of cognitive decline, thanks to a healthier environment at home.

"There's a sense where optimists lead by example, and their partners follow their lead," Chopik said. "While there's some research on people being jealous of their partner's good qualities or on having bad reactions to someone trying to control you, it is balanced with other research that shows being optimistic is associated with perceiving your relationship in a positive light."

The research also indicated that when couples recall shared experiences together, richer details from the memories emerge. A recent example, Chopik explained, was Google's tearjerker Super Bowl ad, "Loretta," in which an elderly man uses his Google Assistant to help him remember details about his late wife.

"The things he was recollecting were positive things about his partner," Chopik said. "There is science behind the Google ad. Part of the types of memories being recalled were positive aspects of their relationship and personalities."

With all of its benefits, is optimism something that can be prescribed? While there is a heritable component to optimism, Chopik says there is some evidence to suggest that it's a trainable quality.

"There are studies that show people have the power to change their personalities, as long as they engage in things that make them change," Chopik said. "Part of it is wanting to change. There are also intervention programs that suggest you can build up optimism."

Across the board, everyone benefits from a healthy dose of optimism from their partner. For the glass-is-half-empty people, a partner can still quench their thirst. For the glass-is-half-full people? Their cup runneth over.

Reference :
  1. The association between actor/partner optimism and cognitive functioning among older couples - (https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12529)


Source: Eurekalert

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Adeline Dorcas. (2020, February 11). Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia. Medindia. Retrieved on Aug 17, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/having-a-happy-partner-can-help-you-stave-off-alzheimers-disease-dementia-193100-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Adeline Dorcas. "Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia". Medindia. Aug 17, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/having-a-happy-partner-can-help-you-stave-off-alzheimers-disease-dementia-193100-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Adeline Dorcas. "Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/having-a-happy-partner-can-help-you-stave-off-alzheimers-disease-dementia-193100-1.htm. (accessed Aug 17, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Adeline Dorcas. 2021. Having a Happy Partner can Help You Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia. Medindia, viewed Aug 17, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/having-a-happy-partner-can-help-you-stave-off-alzheimers-disease-dementia-193100-1.htm.

Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge on Liver Transplantation
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Alzheimers Disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Celebrating Life: Positivity and Rejoicing Dementia Vascular Dementia Acute Coronary Syndrome Mini-Mental Scale (Cognitive Function Test) 

Most Popular on Medindia

Noscaphene (Noscapine) A-Z Drug Brands in India Drug Interaction Checker Blood Pressure Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Find a Hospital Find a Doctor Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Blood Donation - Recipients
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use