THE BLOG
11/05/2014 05:19 pm ET Updated Jan 05, 2015

Your Moodiness May Be Putting You at Risk for Alzheimer's

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A new study has found that staying calm and avoiding intense mood swings can help women avoid the onset of Alzheimer's. For those who are worriers, who feel lonely, or distressed and for those who experience drastic mood swings, they may be putting themselves at risk for Alzheimer's. A new study found that women between the ages of 38 and 54 who already experience this type of moodiness may be at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. A study from the Journal of Neurology has identified a link between midlife neuroticism in women and a risk of developing dementia later on in life. These statistics were delivered based on 800 women for 38 years, and examined their personalities, stability and eventual development of Alzheimer's disease. Of the 153 women in the study that developed signs of dementia, more than two-thirds ultimately were diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

This type of "neuroticism" is defined as emotional reactivity, anxiety and psychosomatic concerns, as well as strength of ego and proneness to guilt. Those who tested high for these neurotic tendencies and low on extraversion, ultimately had the highest risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. While there are other factors, such as family history and age, that ultimately can't be avoided, the study also concluded that many women can reduce their development of Alzheimer's by avoiding these tendencies, getting more vitamin D, promoting a more relaxed lifestyle, and cutting back on smoking. A healthy diet, and regular exercise are also positive lifestyle habits that can lessen the risk of Alzheimer's development in these women.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest changes that experts suggest with these women are essentially changing personality traits. Changing being neurotic or introverted and reducing feelings of distress isn't always easy. It can be very difficult for someone who is naturally inclined to have these tendencies to make this drastic of a lifestyle change. However, putting a valiant effort towards promoting relaxation and lessening these tendencies can go a long way in prolonging the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

While many experts state that more research is needed on the topic, it is clear that women in this age group need to be more aware of the risks that emotional reactivity can have on their chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. With awareness and a proactive approach, many women may be able to prevent the onset of this devastating illness.