4 Links between Anxiety and Dementia

Anxiety is a term which is thrown around quite often but it is a mental health issue that seriously affects a lot of people around the world. Anxiety is often described as feelings of nervousness and restlessness. The root cause of all anxiety is fear where a person feels threatened by an event in the future. Anxiety causes many people to feel exhausted and they usually struggle with focusing on their tasks.

Though it is not common knowledge, one of the ways anxiety impacts the mind is memory loss. A lot of the latest research has shown the undeniable link between anxiety and forgetfulness or amnesia. In this article, we are listing down four important links between anxiety and amnesia.

  1. Brain aging

Many neurologists have confirmed that most of the patients that they see with memory problems in old age have had a history of anxiety. This claim is supported by a recent study which was conducted by Birmingham University. According to this study, a brain with anxiety appears six years older than its actual age. This leads to the conclusion, that anxiety leads to an aged brain before its time ultimately leading to dementia.

  1. Memory Recall

Anxiety also leads to problems in memory recall. This is because of a phenomenon known as memory blocking. Memory blocking refers to incidents where one is able to recall a concept but not able to recall its name and cannot say it out loud. This is also known as the tip of the tongue phenomenon.

A major cause of memory blocking is mental shifts in between tasks. One thing anxiety is known for is loss of concentration. A person dealing with anxiety is thus likely to shift from one thought to another rapidly because of lack of focus which ultimately leads to problems with memory recall.

  1. Cognitive Function

Cognitive function in general is also impacted by anxiety. Neurologists claim that people with severe anxiety often have trouble with problem solving and in extreme cases may even experience blurred vision and reduced mental capacity to understand their surroundings. Anxiety can thus also impair cognitive functioning.

  1. Higher Stress Levels

As all of you must know, anxiety is directly linked to higher stress levels since it raises the level of cortisol in the body. This high level of cortisol causes a mental haze which is filled with confusion and thus highly impacts the working memory.

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This article is written with the intent of general awareness. It does not prove that everyone who has anxiety will suffer from dementia. On the other hand, if you are facing any memory problems and have a history of anxiety, you should consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

 

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This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find the best neurologist in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and book an appointment online.