Depression linked to dementia: study


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Preventing and treating depression could help people maintain their thinking and memory abilities as they age.

That’s the finding of a new study by a local researcher, published in the American Academy of Neurology. UBC’s Dr. Roger Wong calls the study one of the more important ones in recent times, looking at the relationship between depression and dementia in older adults.

“What is different in this particular study however is that it starts to talk about this correlation between depression symptoms and the development of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI.”

Wong says the findings show preventing and treating depression symptoms could make a big difference for elderly patients. “Individuals, when they look at older adults who may develop symptoms of depression or early warning signs of depression, they need to understand they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Depression is a very treatable condition.”

People who developed mild cognitive impairment were more likely to have depression symptoms before they were diagnosed with memory issues. The connection between depression and dementia was independent of dementia-related brain changes.

Two thousand people with an average age of 77 took part in the study.

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