Dr. Sutin study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

photo of Dr. Angelina Sutin

There are a number of ways that loneliness may put one at risk for dementia. One way may be physiological, such as through higher inflammation — the body’s natural response to infection that can be harmful when it lasts a long time. A second way may be through behavior. People may cope with loneliness through behaviors that can damage the brain, such as heavy drinking or being sedentary. A third way is through lack of meaningful social interaction. Keeping the mind engaged in a meaningful way can promote cognitive health that provides the motivation and structure to help maintain cognitive functioning.  Additional information