Several posts ago I blamed grandma for Alzheimer’s. Oh, now don’t get your knickers in a twist. It was more of metaphor.
But, just to be fair, today I’m putting the blame on a particular personality trait and stress.
Female neurotics be forewarned
Neuroticism may trigger Alzheimer’s.
Neurotics: defined as introverted women who are easily upset by stress, easily distressed, subject to excessive worry, jealousy or moodiness.
According to Alzheimer’s Prevention and the American Academy of Neurology’s journal, Neurology, these type of women in a study were two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than women who were least prone to neuroticism.”1
Because, the study suggests, these introverted worry warts obsess over family, bosses, spouses, parents, pets, bad health, good health, the weather, their neighbors, the poor and lowly, the high and lofty, the downtrodden, the celebrity, royalty, and the sweet little girl down the street (bless her heart) with a schnozz the size of Chicago.
(This is sounding like me)
What happens is that the constant acute and/or chronic stress floods your body with adrenaline and cortisol2 thereby reducing immune function, increasing inflammation and blood pressure, and altering your brain chemistry, blood sugar levels and hormonal balance.3
Worse, even just ruminating on a stressful incident can increase your stress hormones.4
As a poet, this is not welcoming news.
One single event
Dr. Mercola of “The World’s #1 Natural Health Website” quotes a study that is more inclusive of men saying that nearly three out of four Alzheimer’s patients had experienced “severe emotional stress during the two years preceding their diagnosis.”5
So, not only does chronic stress trigger Alzheimer’s but a single stressful event can trigger Alzheimer’s.
Just getting the kids off to school in the morning is a traumatic event. We have deadlines to meet. Friday afternoon traffic. The flu. Cooking for the in-laws. Conflicts at work. Pregnancy. Deaths.
If stress is the culprit, we are all doomed. I envision a world of wandering lost souls just trying to find home. I’m not being funny here. Not at all.
Should we just take Solomon’s advice and eat, drink, and be merry?
Seems that way if we’re all doomed to Alzheimer’s because of stress. Or is it that we are all secret neurotics in our reaction to stress?
In answer to the above question, I’m going to say with some trepidation that yes, we should eat, drink, and be merry. But, we should do it with a thankful heart and in moderation and wisely.
Next post, I’m going to delve into the idea of reversing memory loss. This one looks promising. However, they all look promising at first.
What do you think?
What do you think about a single event triggering Alzheimer’s?
Are you an introverted worry wart? (Have I just presented you with another stressor to worry about?)
1. Washington Post (a. men were not included in this study b. Results were based on the Eysenck Personality Inventory, which rates a “”person’s disposition, emotional stability, tendency toward introversion, or extraversion.)
4. Dr. Mercola