Is this a precursor to Alzheimer Syndrome?
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have found a correlation between cynical distrust and a higher diagnosis rate for Alzheimer disease later in life. There seems to be a link between cynicism – assuming the worst about the motives of others – and dementia. So is it safe to say that cynical distrust is an Alzheimer precursor? Maybe. Then, can we say that cynicism causes dementia? No. Correlation is not causation. The fact that cynicism and distrust of others seems to be an Alzheimer precursor does not mean that it causes it, as the researchers were careful to point out.
It’s possible that cynicism is just one trait of an overall ‘negative’ personality, and this is another example of attitude affecting health. It may be part of a personality type that makes a person less likely to lead a healthy life. It could even be that the distrustful trait is one of the early signs of dementia, and that the causation goes the other way. The researchers stress that their small study is not definitive. They’re hoping that other, larger studies will be conducted to clarify the matter.
Even though this correlation is not definitive, previous studies have shown a link between cynical distrust and other problems, such as coronary disease. So the message is to lighten up. Negative thoughts can make you sick.