Latest News » Study: Cynicism is bad for brain health

A new study has found that being cynical is bad for your brain health.

Calling all cynics! If you frequently think the worst of people and have a tendency to distrust others, you may be doing serious harm to your brain health.

A recent study published in the American Academy of Neurology's online journal Neurology found that people harboring "high levels" of cynicism are at greater risk for developing dementia later in life. A research team at the University of Eastern Finland tested 1,449 subjects with an average age of 71-years-old for dementia while using a questionnaire to measure how cynical they were. Submitted statements like "I think most people would lie to get ahead" or "It is safer to trust nobody" were used to gauge levels of cynicism in participants.

Follow-up tests revealed people determined to be highly cynical were also three times as likely to develop dementia than others. A total of 164 of the study's subjects were concluded as exhibiting high levels of cynicism, 14 of whom would later suffer from dementia. By contrast, of the 212 assessed as having low levels of cynicism, only nine would be diagnosed with dementia.

"These results add to the evidence that people's view on life and personality may have an impact on their health," said the university's Dr. Anna-Maija Tolppanen in an official statement. "Understanding how a personality trait like cynicism affects risk for dementia might provide us with important insights on how to reduce risks for dementia."

So in other words, think happier thoughts! Boasting a more trusting disposition is good for your head.

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