It pays to control emotions because negative emotions can modify neuronal connections, aging the brain and promoting the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia, according to a study carried out as part of a European research project co-directed by neuroscientists at the University of Geneva.
What to know:
An ability to change emotions quickly is beneficial for mental health, whereas people who are unable to regulate their emotions and remain in the same emotional state for a long time are at higher risk for depression.
Some people develop an emotional inertia so that their brain remains "frozen" in a negative state by relating the suffering of others to their own emotional memories and thus pathologically ages faster than others.
The posterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala are the two brain regions involved in the management of emotions and autobiographical memory, and they are strongly affected by negative emotions, anxiety, and depression.
People who show more anxiety, rumination, and negative emotions tend to display accentuated changes in connectivity between these two regions of the brain, which could indicate a deviation from the normal aging phenomenon.
The posterior cingulate cortex is one of the regions most affected by dementia, suggesting that the presence of these negative emotions could increase the risk for this and other neurodegenerative diseases.
This is a summary of the article "Managing Emotions Better Could Prevent Pathological Ageing," published in Nature Aging on January 12, 2023. The full article can be found on unige.ch.
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Cite this: Managing Emotions Could Help Prevent Your Brain From Aging - Medscape - Mar 31, 2023.