Alabama NewsCenter — Dr. Ann says more cheer (the emotional kind) leads to better memory

| December 8, 2022 @ 10:00 am

By Dr. Ann Kulze

Cheerfulness helps maintain a sharp mind as we age. That was the uplifting conclusion from scientists at Northwestern University who monitored the emotional states and memory of aging adults over an extended period.

Using a scientifically validated questionnaire, 991 middle-aged and older adults reported on their emotional status in the previous 30 days on three separate occasions – spanning a 15-year period. In the latter two of the three assessments, the subjects completed a series of memory performance tests.

The results? Although memory declined with age, subjects who reported a more cheerful emotional state – known in medicine as a “positive affect” – experienced significantly less memory decline over time. Ponder that.

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