WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.New research links loneliness in the elderly to Alzheimer’s disease.
A study at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found lonely individuals twice as likely to develop the kind of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s.
Study leader Robert S. Wilson says the research shows that loneliness doesn’t affect the same parts of the brain.
“It suggests that whatever the biological pathway linking loneliness to Alzheimer’s disease, it probably is something other than these traditional pathologic lesions that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” Wilson says. “That is, we should probably be looking elsewhere.”
Wilson said studying the connection between loneliness and dementia could bring new ways to prevent symptoms of Alzheimer’s.