High Levels of Cynicism Could Lead To Dementia - A New Study Reveals


Published Date : May 29, 2014

A new study has now drawn parallels between a person’s levels of cynical distrust and the chances that person may have dementia, a broad category of brain diseases that may lead to issues such as memory loss and induce difficulties related to brain’s ability for problem solving, thinking and many other daily activities. 

According to the study, people that have high levels of cynical disgust, the belief that other people are selfish and would help someone only if they could benefit themselves from the act, are more prone to develop dementia. 

This study, the first of its kind, draws its results from tests for dementia and a questionnaire for measuring their levels of cynicism answered by 1449 people above the age of 71. 

The questionnaire was found to be quite reliable and people’s scores for it were found to have remained stable over several years.  

Based on their scores for the questionnaire and test, these people were divided in groups of low, modest and high levels of cynicism. 

622 people from the group gave the test for dementia twice in duration of eight years after the study had started. During this time, 46 people were found to have developed dementia. After adjusting other factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and smoking that have a significant role in causing dementia, the researchers found that people who were found as possessing high levels of cynicism were three times more likely to have dementia than people with low levels of it. 

Of the 212 people with levels of cynicism, 9 were diagnosed with dementia as compared to 14 people out of the 164 people tested to have high levels of cynicism. 

These results most certainly add to the evidence that people’s view about life and conditions around them have significant effect on their health and a proper understanding about the levels of cynicism and its direct effect in causing dementia could help the medical field in getting better insights about ways to reduce risk of dementia. 

The detailed study can be found in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.