MiND your thinking: Examining relationships between patterns of repetitive negative thinking and blood-based biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease, neurodegeneration, inflammation and stress
Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is an ongoing and continuous pattern of thinking negatively about a lot of possible things (e.g. yourself, the world and people around you, the past, the future, the present). Studies have found relationships between more RNT and greater rates of depression and/or anxiety, chronic stress responses, inflammation in the entire bodily system and brain, increased signs of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease and worsening cognitive ability. Because RNT affects things like stress and inflammation, which we know are harmful to the body and brain, it might be possible that we can reduce chances of someone developing Alzheimer’s disease in their future if we can find a way to help them reduce how much RNT they do. The MiND Your Thinking project is a pilot study will include people from the existing Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (MiND) Study. The aim is to test whether there are connections between more RNT and cognitive decline as well as signs of Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, stress responses, or neurodegeneration using markers measured in blood samples. Dr Dang will then test whether RNT or any of the biomarkers can predict diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disorder.
Dr Christa Dang is currently a Research Fellow at the National Ageing Research Institute. She also works with the Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (MiND) Study at The University of Melbourne and is an instructor with the Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced at Monash University.