Having Sense Of Purpose In Life Associated With Lower Risk Of Dementia

Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. It is a significant concern among the aging population as cases increase in nearly every country.

Due to the increasing nature of this disease, researchers are consistently finding new ways to help reduce the risk. One such review of evidence led by UCL researchers found that feeling a sense of purpose or meaning in life could help to lower the risk of dementia years later.


The study published in Aging Research Reviews looked at whether positive psychological constructs, including positive mood and optimism, were key factors consistently associated with a reduced risk of dementia. The researchers reviewed evidence from eight previously published studies, which included data from 62,250 adults across three continents.

It was found that higher purpose or meaning in life was significantly associated with the reduced risk of cognitive impairment outcomes. These included dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Researchers noted this outcome was not the case for other positive psychological constructs, like simply having a positive mood state.

Previous studies had suggested that feeling a sense of purpose in life may be reduced with inflammation in the brain, which could be associated with a reduced risk of dementia. They also suggest that people with a higher sense of purpose in life may also be more likely to engage in activities such as social involvement and exercise, which could help to protect against dementia risk. 

Georgia Bell, the first author of the study, said, “Trying to live in line with what is meaningful to you appears to have multiple health benefits – here we have found that a sense of purpose may reduce the risk of dementia, adding to other evidence linking meaningful linking to improve mental health and reduced risk of disability and heart disease.” 

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Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.