Worsening Depression Would Likely Have A Greater Risk Of Developing Dementia

First Posted: May 03, 2016 06:03 AM EDT

A new study shows that people who have worsening depression may have a higher risk of acquiring dementia. The depression could actually be an early symptom.

The Lancet Psychiatry states that only the group whose symptom of depression over time has an increased risk of dementia. The physicians have previously associated depression and dementia in patients. On the other hand, the nature of the relationship is not clear.

The latest study involved 3,325 people aged 55 and above in Netherlands for more than an 11-year period. The researchers gathered data about them and monitored them for 10 years,according to Rappler.

All the participants had no dementia when the study started. The results showed that at the end of the study, there were 434 people who had acquired dementia. This includes 348 cases of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers divided the data of the participants into 5 different types of depression. In 255 people who had worsening depression, 55 of them had dementia. The other groups had a dementia risk of 10 percent. The findings also showed that one-off severe depression or recurring episodes did not increase the risk of dementia.

The World Health Organization states that between 5 percent and 8 percent of people with aged 60 and above may suffer dementia at any given time. This means that an increase in the symptom of depression in older age could have an early stage of dementia.

Dementia refers to decline in mental ability. It is not really a particular disease but you can lose your mental skills. It will affect how well you can think and plan. It would get worse over time. Alzheimer's disease is one form of dementia.

There is no treatment for dementia. On the other hand, there are drug treatments that might improve the symptoms. The medications that are used to treat Alzheimer's disease may also be taken by people with dementia.


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