Sense of purpose staves off Alzheimer’s

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According to findings reported in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, individuals who have a greater sense of purpose in life may have a natural protection against Alzheimer’s as they age. According to Patricia A. Boyle, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues, those were determined to have a good sense of purpose had a greater than 50% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A greater sense of purpose was defined as goal directedness and internality in life as well as a tendency to gain meaning from many life experiences. Prospects for individuals without a heightened sense of purpose in life are not altogether bleak, however; according to the researchers, “purpose in life is a potentially modifiable factor that may be increased via specific behavioral strategies that may help older persons identify personally meaningful activities and engage in goal directed behaviors.” Click here to read an article from Business Week that discusses this study more.

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