According to a cognitive research study recently released by Michigan State, members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual community are more likely to develop dementia in old age. Dr. Ileana Berman discusses the correlation:
Although society has come a very long way, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals still face a greater deal of stigma and adversity than their heterosexual peers. According to a study out of Michigan State University, that reality may even be the reason why members of the LGB community are being found to be at greater risk of developing dementia.
Why? At first glance of this study, Dr. Ileana Berman made her own assumptions on why this may be the case. While dementia is linked to numerous other conditions, a direct cause has yet to be determined. However, traumatic brain injuries are one of the numerous conditions believed to potentially cause the development of dementia later on in life. Drawing this connection, Dr. Berman hypothesizes that emotional trauma, which also impacts the brain long term, could be the reason behind the claim made by MSU’s recent study.
According to Michigan State University, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are more likely to endure stress and experience depression — even at incredibly young ages. This is largely due to the trials and tribulations posed as they navigate the territory of keeping their sexuality a secret out of fear of stigma. And then, inevitably living in a world where they will not always be accepted. This very stress and overall experience attributes to cognitive changes, potentially leading to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
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