People with optimistic spouses are less at-risk for dementia, study finds

People with optimistic spouses are less at-risk for dementia because their partners encourage healthy habits and share stronger memories with them, study finds Researchers at the University of Michigan and Harvard found people with optimistic spouses have less cognitive decline and memory loss They think that happier partners also tend to have better habits  People are more likely to pick up their partner's habits - good or bad  They also found people could recall more detailed memories when they were shared with a partner 

By Natalie Rahhal Acting Us Health Editor

Published: 21:44 GMT, 11 February 2020 | Updated: 00:34 GMT, 12 February 2020

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People with happy and optimistic partners will live healthier lives and may even be protected against dementia, suggests a new study.

Researchers say people who spend their lives with a partner who has a sunny outlook had lower risks for Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as the grow old together.

They believe that an optimistic partner may help develop a healthier lifestyle by encouraging things like eating a salad or exercising together.

The study, published in the Journal of Personality, followed more than 4,000 heterosexual couples for up to eight years.

People who were married to optimists fared better cognitively as their lives went on, and the researchers from Michigan State University and Harvard University think it may be because their home environments were healthier and less stressful.  

Partners of optimists may be protected from dementia because they are more likely to pick up their significant other's healthy habits and less-stressed attitude

Partners of optimists may be protected from dementia because they are more likely to pick up their significant other's healthy habits and less-stressed attitude

Some say you are what you eat, but others say you are the company you keep. 

And that may apply to their habits, too.  

'We spend a lot of time with our partners,' remarked Dr William Chopik, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. 

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