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Anxiety May Increase The Risk Of Dementia

First Posted: Nov 11, 2014 03:05 AM EST
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Anxiety is often an issue that's plagued by many individuals. Yet recent findings published in the in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry show that it can even lead to dementia, in more severe cases.

For the study, researchers studied the risk of anxiety causing Alzheimer's disease. Yet they found that mild cognitive patients were about 33 percent, , 78 percent and 135 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

After studying people with mild cognitive impairment researchers found that those who suffer anxiety are 33 percent, 78 percent and 135 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

"Our findings suggest that clinicians should routinely screen for anxiety in people who have memory problems because anxiety signals that these people are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer's," Dr. Linda Mah, principal investigator on the study, clinician-scientist with Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute, and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, said in a news release.

"While there is no published evidence to demonstrate whether drug treatments used in psychiatry for treating anxiety would be helpful in managing anxiety symptoms in people with mild cognitive impairment or in reducing their risk of conversion to Alzheimer's, we think that at the very least behavioural stress management programs could be recommended. In particular, there has been research on the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction in treating anxiety and other psychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's --and this is showing promise," Mah concluded. 

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