Tags: depression | dementia | senior

Depression Tied to Dementia Risk

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 09:59 AM

Seniors suffering from depression are more likely to suffer mild cognitive impairment and dementia, according to a new study of Medicare recipients.
The findings, published by University of Amsterdam researchers in the Archives of Neurology, suggest a common neurological thread linking depression and dementia in old age and may give doctors a new way to identify patients most at risk of suffering sometimes-debilitating mental deterioration and memory loss.
"We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent mild cognitive impairment [MCI] and dementia,” said Edo Richard, M.D., of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "Our finding … suggests that depression develops with the transition from normal cognition to dementia."
For the study, Dr. Richard and colleagues evaluated 2,160 Medicare recipients. The result showed those with depressive symptoms were 40 percent more likely to suffer cognitive impairment and more than twice as likely to develop dementia.
The researchers noted depressive symptoms occur in up to 63 percent of patients with MCI and past studies have suggested an increased dementia risk in individuals with a lifelong history of depression.
They added, however, that it’s unclear whether a common biological mechanism is at work in the development of depression, MCI, and dementia.
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Seniors suffering from depression are more likely to suffer cognitive impairment and dementia, a new study finds.
Friday, 04 Jan 2013 09:59 AM
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