Lose Your Job in Recession? Now You May Lose Your Mind.

So you thought the worst thing was losing your job, in the recession.  But now a new study is finding there's even more bad news.  Mid-life economic recessions lead to cognitive decline, according to medicalnewsdaily.com.

"Lay-offs, lower pay and downward job mobility are all a depressing reality of economic recessions. But new research suggests these factors not only affect our bank accounts, but also our risk of cognitive decline in later life," the Web site reports.

Previous research has suggested working conditions can affect build-up of "cognitive reserve," which can in turn influence cognitive performance later in life, medicalnewsdaily.com notes, quoting the new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Because higher cognitive ability from the outset could influence whether individuals are in more favorable jobs or working environments, the researchers wanted to know whether economic recessions could make a difference, as individuals have little or no control in these cases. 

The conclusion of the study?  Both men and women who lived through recessions in mid-life were at higher risk of developing cognitive loss by age 50. 

So how do you prevent it?  Stay involved, stay active.  Even if you have not yet found a new job, volunteer, write Letters to the Editor, take your kids or grandkids to DisneyWorld.  Do something.  You never know.  A volunteer job may lead to a real job (as it did for me, in my 20s when I volunteered with special need kids and met the wife of a publisher at Hearst; I went on to have my first magazine job with Good Housekeeping as an associate editor).

omedica.com quotes Dr Anja Leist, a study author, who said that lay-offs, enforced part-time work, lower pay, lower status jobs (downward job mobility) sparked by recessions are all factors which "may take their toll on cognitive ability, affecting our memory, verbal fluency, temporal orientation, and numeracy."


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