Being in touch with optimistic people can prevent decline in memory loss: Study

Having positive and trustworthy friendships can be effective in preventing the decline in memory loss in old age.

Belgian researcher Schuermans examines a human brain, part of a collection of more than 3,000 brains... Reuters

Having positive and trustworthy friendships can be effective in preventing the decline in memory loss in old age, confirmed a new study.

During old age, the capacity of brain function tends to decline due to inevitable biological effect but researchers have come up with an idea that maintaining firm social networks with people having positive, warm and optimistic feelings about life can help older people avoid the decline in memory loss, thus improving effective functioning of the brain.

The study's findings explained that those who are 80 years and above, experience a decline in their cognitive ability.

"This study supports the theory that maintaining strong social networks seems to be linked to slower cognitive decline," said lead author Emily Rogalski, associate professor from Northwestern University in the US.

"This study is particularly exciting as a step forward understanding what factors underlie the prevention of cognitive ability in advanced age, particularly those that may be modifiable," said Amanda Cook, a doctoral student at the varsity.

According to previous studies, it was known that psychological well-being in elderly people reduces the risk of getting Alzheimer's, another brain-related disease associated with loss of brain power. "It's not as simple as saying if you have a strong social network; you will never get Alzheimer's disease," said Rogalski.

In the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the participants were asked to answer 42 different questions called Ryff Psychological Well-being Scale that are globally used to scale the psychological well-being.

The study identified six aspects of psychological well-being which includes autonomy, positive relations with members, environmental mastery, personal growth, actual purpose in life and self-actualization.

"Superagers scored a median overall score of 40 in positive relations with others while the control group scored 36- a significance difference," said Emily.

As we grow older, we often tend to forget the simple things but recently researchers have stated that the human brain is capable of making new brain cells at any age and there is no significant reason to explain why memory tends to weaken in old age. So, it requires to be kept active and occupied.