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Covid pandemic caused anxious over-50s to suffer 'six years' of memory decline, researchers say

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Anxious and depressed over-50s suffered the equivalent of six years of memory decline during the first year of the pandemic, researchers revealed yesterday. Poor mental health in lockdown corresponded with plunging scores on short-term memory tests, said researchers from the University of Exeter and King's College London. Scientists discovered the link by looking at five years of mental health and cognitive test data from an online study of 6,300 over-50s. Poor mental health in lockdown corresponded with plunging scores on short-term memory tests, said researchers from the University of Exeter and King's College London (stock image) Dr Sara Imarisio of Alzheimer's Research UK said: 'While these findings are intriguing, depression and anxiety can often have short-term effects on memory and thinking skills that may not be an indication of future dementia.' The study was presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease conference in Boston, US.


Unfit people have an 98% increased risk of depression, study warns

Daily Mail - Science & tech

People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are almost twice as likely to be depressed and have a 60 per cent increased risk of anxiety, a new study warns. In a seven-year study of more than 150,000 Britons, UK researchers found a link between low physical activity and various mental health issues. The experts stress the importance of physical activity during the coronavirus lockdown, such as weightlifting and a daily run, to stop depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety have also been linked to increased risk of physical health problems, including a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and early death. People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.


Single people coped better with lockdown than those in unhappy relationships, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Single people found it easier to cope during coronavirus lockdown than those in an unhappy relationship - but those in a happy relationship had it best, study finds. Experts from Danube University surveyed more than 1,000 Austrians a month into lockdown to get a picture of the link between relationship status and emotion state. People in an unhappy relationship were three times as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than singles or happy couples, the team discovered. Those who were happy in their relationship fared best out of all groups, showing a higher general level of mental health wellbeing than singles or unhappy couples. The findings of the survey'underline the fact that not only but especially in times like this, the choice of partner should be carefully considered,' the team wrote.


First UK lockdown saw a 'steep rise' in cases of depression among children

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The first lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus in the UK led to a'steep rise' in cases of depression, including in children as young as seven, a new study reveals. Scientists from the Medical Research Council compared data from parents, teachers and children on the mental health of kids aged 7 to 12 before and after lockdown. They found Covid-19 measures had a'medium to large' impact on mental health, primarily from social distancing and school closures over the four month lockdown. Their findings suggest there is a need to incorporate the potential impact of lockdown on child mental health in planning future pandemic responses. Scientists from the Medical Research Council compared data from parents, teachers and children on the mental health of kids aged 7 to 12 before and after lockdown.


Children closer to nature 'have lower risk of behavioural problems', study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Exposure to green space could be more important than ever for children now the Covid-19 lockdown has ended, a new study suggests. Researchers compared the mental health of more than 3,000 children in the London area with their proximity to green spaces. Those who were closer to woodlands had better cognitive development and a lower risk of emotional and behavioural problems, they found. Worryingly, data was gathered prior to the pandemic, meaning the health problems were likely exacerbated by a lack of natural space during lockdown. The study could influence planning decisions in urban areas around the world, according to the authors at University College London and Imperial College London.