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Can Negative Age Stereotypes Predict Alzheimer?

MRI and autopsy findings show potential role

Negative age stereotypes may play a role in predicting Alzheimer disease, according to data from dementia-free individuals who were part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.

The participants’ age stereotypes had been assessed as part of the study decades before yearly MRI (in 158 participants) and brain autopsies (in 88 participants) were performed.

Those holding more-negative age stereotypes earlier in life had higher hippocampal-volume loss and more accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques.

The authors concluded that the findings point to a potential new pathway to identify mechanisms and possible interventions related to Alzheimer disease.

Citation: Levy B, Ferrucci L, Zonderman A, Slade M, Troncoso J, Resnick S. A culture–brain link: Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. [Published online ahead of print December 7, 2015]. Psychol Aging. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000062.