What Depression Could Mean for Seniors.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 13, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study saying that for older adults who begin to suffer depression, there might be something else at play: it might be a warning sign of dementia.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/brain-function-articles/what-depression-could-mean-for-seniors) notes, published in the Archives of Neurology, the study included Medicare recipients who were at least 65 years old. It found that depression among this age group appeared to be associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—and an increased risk of dementia.
As the article “What Depression Could Mean for Seniors” reports, MCI is a condition that lies somewhere between the normal age-related decline in your mind and the severe decline of dementia. In MCI, depressive symptoms can be quite common. (The numbers say between three percent and 63% of MCI patients have these symptoms.) Some studies have shown an increased dementia risk in individuals with a history of depression. What is causing this link between depression and cognitive decline is unclear, although many researchers have various theories.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article states that in this breakthrough study, Dutch researchers evaluated the association of late-life depression with MCI and dementia in a group of 2,160 Medicare recipients who lived in their own homes in the community. The study found depression to be a higher risk factor for MCI and dementia, and that MCI would have a greater likelihood to progress into dementia in the future. (Dementia is an umbrella term for cognitive changes that include Alzheimer’s disease.)
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin concludes that what to take away from this study is the notion that depression is something that should be ignored. It is dangerous and difficult in its own right, and often—as this study suggests—it can be a sign that something more serious is potentially at play.
(SOURCE: Richard, E., et al., “Late-Life Depression, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia,” Arch. Neurol.; published online December 31, 2012.)
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