Loneliness linked to memory decline, study says

STUDY FINDS:

Many people feel lonely from time to time, but could feelings of isolation and social frustration be taking a toll on our memories? Quite possibly, according to researchers at the University of Barcelona. Scientists report certain people who feel lonely over a sustained period of time may experience an elevated decline in their verbal memory skills.

These findings are part of the larger Lifebrain consortium led by the University of Oslo in Norway. Researchers included three participant groups in this research. Two groups from Sweden and Germany included older adults, while the third involved Danish adolescents. Across all three groups, a total of 1,537 people took part in this project.

It’s important to clarify that loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean being alone. As many can attest, it’s very possible to feel lonely while surrounded by other people physically. For the purposes of this research, study authors defined loneliness as “a negative feeling associated with dissatisfaction with the quantity and quality of social connections.”

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