Effects Of Loneliness On Your Cognitive Health

2394 Words May 4th, 2015 10 Pages
Introduction Humans are, by nature, social creatures. We are a species that thrive on social meaning, affected dramatically by even the idea of isolation. In fact, research indicates that a person’s perception of their social isolation, or loneliness, contributes to poor cognitive performance, as well as increasing in rate of cognitive decline. It negatively affects executive functioning, with increases in negativity and depressive cognitive symptoms (Cacioppo, 2009). If loneliness has a detrimental effect on your cognitive health, is it possible that social support can slow the progression of age-related cognitive decline, or even improve overall cognitive performance? Studies in social support in relation to cognitive decline is fairly recent. Longitudinal studies of community-dwelling older adults indicate a positive correlation between isolationism, poor social networking, and low physical activity with individuals affected with dementia or cognitive impairment (Balfour, 2001). However, it is can be debated that individuals affected with cognitive impairment may feel the need to isolate themselves due to social stigma- therefore accelerating impairment.
This review will begin by discussing the morbidity of isolation on cognitive and general health. We will assess the effects of various levels of social networking and social integration, on cognitive health in older adults. Two domains of social integration, intimacy and volunteering, will be reviewed.…
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